Sunday, November 18, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Cranberry Crostata, A Dear Ruth Letter, and {Five Cranberry Recipes You'll Love}


There are three types of people. Those who like to cook. Those who like to bake. Those who say things like "I forgot to eat." We won't worry about the last. They were probably born on another planet.

I love to cook. It's forgiving. You can do your own thing. Add a pinch of this or a dash of that. I find the whole chopping and stirring bit therapeutic. For the most part, everyone usually says they really enjoy my cooking.

I love desserts. They are my one true weakness. I do not love to bake. Cookies, yes. Cakes, maybe. Rolling out dough, absolutely not. However, I love dessert and get this, my family and friends say they like my baked goods better than my cooking. It's like a curse.

So, I tried my hand at Ruth's Cranberry Crostata and this is what I have to say about it.



Dear Ruth,

Your Cranberry Pecan Crostata sounds delicious, original, and perfect for Thanksgiving. I hadn't baked in awhile and I thought I had the required level of patience to approach this recipe. I bought the fresh cranberries. I gathered the ingredients for the filling. The filling is on the stove, but it's nowhere near done in the time you indicated so I cook it longer. There is a fine line when the filling is perfect and apparently I missed it, Ruth. I have cranberry jelly, but I suppose I can deal with that.

Slightly frustrated I get out the flour (I hate getting out that messy flour, Ruth). It's not your fault. It's mine. I have no patience already. I'm already gritting my teeth, Ruth. I start reading the recipe for the dough (You'd think I'd have learned to read the recipe first, Ruth). I'm now frustrated because I thought I was making pastry dough and therefore needed cold butter, but now I'm reading that the dough is like a cookie dough, and therefore the butter needs to be room temperature.

Losing all patience, and shrugging my shoulders, I place the butter in a bowl and microwave it a touch to soften it slightly. Making the dough is easy, but there is flour on my counter and that sets me off.  I DO NOT LIKE FLOUR ON MY COUNTER. It's not your fault, Ruth. It's mine. 

I am starting to approach a whole new level of "I don't care", but I get out my plastic wrap and form disks rather easily. I think I've got this down now. I put that pesky flour back in the pantry out of my sight. I can't be bothered to look at it anymore. I've got 30 minutes for the dough to refrigerate. I have 30 minutes to calm down and gather myself. I can do this.

While the dough is doing what it does in the fridge, I gather my cookbook and set about writing my post. It is at this point when I read the recipe in its entirety for the first time. I realize that I don't have a springform pan. Then I realize that this crostata also requires latticework. I shove the cookbook away from me in total disgust. I realize that there is no amount of time that will cause me to calm down now. Baking requires patience, skills, and equipment that I simply do not have!

I write the post. I decided that I will not use a springform pan and I will not do latticework. I brainstorm while I approach a whole new level of baker's angst. I declare I will never bake again. I decide I will make two small rustic crostata. You know, filling in the center with the dough folded up all rustic and nice over the filling. Just like Giada makes. It'll be fine.

It's going to be fabulous I tell myself. I get the dough out of the fridge and place my rolling pin in my hand with high hopes. I will not roll this dough on my countertop because I cannot be bothered with messy countertops so I roll my dough out on the plastic wrap. I place the dough on the cookie sheet and all is right with the world. I artfully add the cranberry filling and spread it around like I'm God's gift to baking. Then I start trying to fold the dough into the center to cover the filling.

THE DOUGH IS STICKING TO THE PAN, RUTH! 

I've lost all patience again, Ruth. HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DEAL WITH THIS? I'll NEVER UNDERSTAND HOW YOU ENJOY THIS!

I grab my trusty little Pampered Chef spatula with the sharp edge and I angrily start slapping the dough up over the sides of the filling. The dough is breaking and the filling is oozing out the sides and getting messy. The dough gets stickier and stickier and I care less and less as I slap that dough up over the sides of the filling.

Dear God! The second crostata is even worse because I was dumb enough to let that dough sit out while I slapped the first one together. I care even less about the second one, Ruth. I slapped that dough over the sides of the filling with a fury of a 1000 men going to battle!

Looking at the second one caused me to laugh in a maniacal way. I scared the children, Ruth. I become even more angered when I realize that my dough is bare. I feel as though I should be brushing it with egg or butter and sprinkling it with some fancy baker's sugar. Why is the dough bare, Ruth? Filled with the rage of 10,000 lunatics, I remember buying some fancy Bourbon Vanilla Sugar and I throw it haphazardly over the tops of both crostata. 

I'm not lying, Ruth. I threw those crostata in the oven uttering all kinds of nasty words. The pans hit the back of the oven and bounced back on the racks with a vengeance. I got some satisfaction from that.

When I pulled them out of the oven they looked beautiful and rustic and I recovered. "I can't wait to have a slice", I said to myself. I don't even want to tell you what happened after I discovered one of the kids ate all of the vanilla ice cream.

When I finally recovered from the Vanilla Ice Cream Debacle of 2018, and got my hands on some vanilla ice cream, I sat down to enjoy a slice and you know what, Ruth? It was all worth it. Every bit of it. The messy flour, the sticky dough, the nasty words. Even the trip to the store for more ice cream. It was all worth it. This Cranberry Crostata could take on any shape, it could have beautiful latticework, or it could be slapped together. Either way, it is a sweet, tart, flaky cookie dough delight with ice cream on top and I love it!

Sincerely,
Kim

P.S. The dough really could use a brush of egg yolk or butter to help it turn a nice golden brown.

P.P.S. You shouldn't really waste the zest of the orange. Save it and sprinkle it over the top.



Cranberry Pecan Crostata
Adapted from My Kitchen Year
by Ruth Reichl

1/2 cup pecans
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 orange
4 ounces apricot preserves
12 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 lemon

*Note: I omitted the pecans because I'm not a fan of nuts in my desserts. I also do not have a springform pan so I basically did my own thing and made two rustic crostatas, without lattice tops because that is way too fussy for me!

The nice thing about this particular tart is that the crust is essentially cookie dough, which means that this tart is as good on day two as on day one. You can make it ahead of time- or really enjoy the leftovers.

Gently toast the pecans in a small skillet until they're fragrant, allow them to cool, then grind them fairly fine. (I skipped this step as I'm not a fan of nuts in my desserts).*

Beat the butter with 1/2 cup sugar until very light. Add the egg, the ground pecans (if using), a pinch of salt, the vanilla, and the flour. Grate in the zest of the lemon and mix well.

Form into two disks, wrap in waxed paper and chill for 30 minutes or more.

Meanwhile, cook the raw cranberries with the juice of the orange, the apricot preserves, and the other 1/2 cup of sugar, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Roll out one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Don't worry too much about this step; the dough will tear, but you can just press it into a 9-inch springform pan, bringing the sides up about 1/2 inch.  Spread the cranberry filling onto the crust.

Roll out the remaining disk on a sheet of waxed paper, put it on a sheet pan, and cut it into 8 to 10 strips. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes, which will make the next step easier.


Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for about 45 minutes until golden. 

Set on a rack to cool for half an hour, then remove the sides of the springform pan. Cool completely, on the rack, before serving.


 Five Cranberry Recipes You Will Love
(click on the recipe titles to be directed to the original post and recipe)







A Very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday to everyone celebrating!!


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Oatmeal Brûlée with Macerated Berries


 Sunday morning. Pajamas. Soft baked oatmeal. Creamy custard.
Handheld blowtorch. Crispety-crunchety sugar crust. Colorful berries. Morning glories.

I love oatmeal and when I laid eyes on this recipe I instantly became enamoured. Oatmeal with a crispety-crunchety sugar crust on top? How brilliant! I mean, why hadn't I thought of it before?

As I started putting the dish together I started to wonder about the custard. It seemed heavy with egg. How was this going to work out? Was the custard going to be creamy or eggy? I instantly knew that this dish would go one of two ways: absolutely delicious or not so great.

Consider a few things before making this dish. Find a shallow bowl, one that will produce a thin layer of oatmeal and a thin layer of custard. Pay attention to how thick your layer of custard is. You don't want a thick layer of custard here. Lastly, and most importantly, pay attention to how long you bake your dish. Times below are a guide. All ovens are different. The goal is to warm the custard and allow it to be cooked through where it is safe to eat, but also to remain somewhat creamy without setting. If you allow your custard to set, then you are going to have a layer of oatmeal topped with an odd eggy layer with sugar and berries on top, which is not so great! I know be..cause it happened to me!

I made this dish twice because I thought it was probably worth perfecting, and it was! My second try yielded perfection! Satisfying oatmeal with a creamy custard topped with a crunchy sugar crust and glorious berries. It's delicous fresh out of the oven and also cold straight out of the fridge! Try it and see for yourself.




Oatmeal Brûlée with Macerated Berries
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
Serves 4

3-1/4 cups water
1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 cups mixed berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and quartered strawberries
1/4 cup Champagne 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup very cold heavy cream
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Special Equipment: a blowtorch

Macerate the Berries: Combine 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan and heat over moderately high heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Gently stir together berries, Champagne, mint, and sugar syrup in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for at least 4 hours. *Berries can macerate for up to 1 day.

Put racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400F.

Make the Custard: Whisk 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, and remaining 14 cup cream in another small bowl, then gently whisk in whipped cream until smooth.

Assemble and bake the Brulees: Bring remaining 3 cups water and salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in oats and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and tender, about 5 minutes. Divide oatmeal among four flameproof soup plates or shallow bowls and smooth with the back of a spoon. Allow the oatmeal to cool slightly before pouring the custard on top or you will start to cook the egg in your custard. Pour custard over oatmeal. Put bowls on oven racks and bake, switching position halfway through baking, *careful not to let the custard completely set or it will become eggy, about 10 minutes. (Or transfer oatmeal to a very shallow 2-quart baking dish and cover with custard. Bake in middle of oven until set, 10 to 15 minutes.).

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon remaining granulated sugar evenly over each custard. Caramelize topping on one bowl at a time with a blowtorch, moving flame evenly back and forth, until sugar is melted and caramelized. With a slotted spoon, mound some berries in center of each brulee. Serve with remaining berries on the side.



Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Shirred Eggs Over Potato Puree {Comfort Food Extraordinaire}



The Ruth Reichl recipe. The must make at the top of my list. Welcoming egg with ozzing yolk. Silky buttery potato puree. Best enjoyed with a spoon. Soft and comforting. Belly warming. Comfort food extraordinaire. One for the books.
"When you want to be really, really good to yourself,take the time to make this soft egg, gently cooked on a pillow of butter-rich potatoes. Then eat it very slowly, with a spoon. Each bite reminds you why you're glad to be alive." - Ruth Reichl in My Kitchen Year





Shirred Eggs with Potato Puree
Adapted from My Kitchen Year
by Ruth Reichl
Serves 4

4-5 young Yukon Gold potatoes (about a pound)
3/4 cup cream
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
chives, bacon, cheese, for garnish*

Peel the potatoes and cut them into half-inch slices.Put them in a pot,cover them with an inch of cold water, and add a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring the water to a boil, reduce it to a ere burble, and cook for 20 minutes, until the flesh offers no resistance when you pierce it with a fork. 

Drain the potatoes and put them through a ricer. Or mash them really well with a potato masher. In a pinch, use a fork. Season with a light shower of salt and pepper.

Melt the butter and stir in half a cup of cream. Now comes the fun part. Whisk the cream mixture into the potatoes and watch them turn into a smooth, seductive puree. Season to taste, doing your best not to gobble them all up.

Heat oven to 375 and put a kettle of water on to boil. Butter 4 little ramekins and put about a half an inch of potato puree in each. Now gently crack an egg on top of each (being careful not to break the yolks). Set the ramekins into a deep baking dish and pour the boiling water around them (being careful not to splash the mixture or yourself). Set the dish in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until the whites have begun to set.

Spoon a tablespoon of the cream over the egg in each ramekin and bake for another 5 minutes or so, or until the egg whites are set but the yolks are runny. Garnish with flakes of salt, bits of chopped chive, or if you're inclined to true indulgence, crispy crumbles of bacon.



Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Banana Bread


Black bananas sitting on the counter. No room for any more in the freezer. Couldn't bear to throw them out. Forgotten. Sad. They had great plans to be split down the middle, dolloped with vanilla yogurt, and drizzled with a handful of colorful berries for a beautiful and healthy breakfast that never happened. Instead, they sit staring at me, reminding me of all the things I planned to do and couldn't.

Busy weeks. Busy weekends. Run every single second of the day from the first crack of dawn til everyone's in bed. Decide something has to give. Realize nothing can. Instead, get even more thrown on your plate. Wake up and repeat. Maybe even throw on your camo shirt. After all, each day is starting to feel as if you're going to war.

I didn't have time to enjoy my breakfast banana splits last week. However, I did remedy that by making Ruth's Banana Bread because I sure as hell have time to grab a bag with a slice of banana bread in it and eat it in the car.

Banana bread should win a prize for versatility. Plain or with nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter, dried fruit, coconut. Bourbon banana bread. Cream cheese banana bread. Banana bread with a chocolate glaze. Banana bread with a maple glaze. The possibilities are endless an usually all delicious. I have tried several variations over the years.

However, I must say that my all-time favorite banana bread is just the regular old-fashioned loaf. No fussy add-in's or adornments. This loaf fits that bill. What's different about this recipe is that it's made with buttermilk, which we all know produces a very tender and dare I say it...moist loaf. I had never made banana bread with buttermilk before and I must say I liked the result! I think you would too!

Is this my all-time favorite banana bread recipe? I'd have to say no but only based on personal preference. My all-time favorite banana bread recipe belongs to Tessa Kiros and you can find that recipe HERE. The reason I love Tessa's Banana Bread is that she uses a hefty dose of brown sugar (1 full cup to Ruth's 3/4 cup) and I'm incredibly partial to brown sugar for both it's aroma and flavor. Tessa's recipe also uses 3 to 4 bananas, whereas Ruth's only uses 2 bananas, and while I appreciate the subtleness of Ruth's Banana Bread, I found I like a more pronounced banana flavor. Additionally, Tessa's recipe includes cinnamon and cardamom, which add a lovely degree of warmth to the bread. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I do love Ruth's recipe and anyone would be more than happy to eat a slice, or two. I just feel a responsibility to compare and contrast and share my own personal preferences, especially since I've posted several banana bread recipes to my site.

Inspired by Ruth's short but sweet writing in My Kitchen Year I could sum up this post by saying this short quote:

"Black bananas. Forgotten and sad. Shortage of time. Feeling defeat.
Camo shirt. Hair in a bun. Banana Bread."

I've always been long-winded. That ends now.





Banana Bread 
Adapted from My Kitchen Year
by Ruth Reichl
Serves 6-8

2 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup buttermilk
8 tablespoons butter
3/4 brown sugar
1/2 sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325F. Cream the butter and sugars together in a medium-sized bowl with a mixer. Beat in the eggs.

Mash the bananas and squash them into the butter mixture, along with the vanilla. 

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and add it into the butter/banana mixture, alternating with the buttermilk (you can also use yogurt).

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for about an hour.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Pumpkin Pancakes {and other Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Favorites}


I had been craving butternut squash something fierce when Deb asked me what ingredient/dish we should chose for our Monthly Featured Ingredient/Dish challenge over at I Heart Cooking Clubs. I was having dreams about some of my all-time favorite squash recipes (see below).

As soon as we agreed that orange squash was to be the ingredient I knew instantly what I would make. Something I've been wanting to make for ages, Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese. I was all set to make it and then...my copy of Ruth's My Kitchen Year arrived in the mail and it stole my heart.

"Mysterious misty morning. Crows wheeling, cawling. Storm is on the way. 
Coffee black. Egg fried. Toast burnt.
Gourmet's over. What now?" -Ruth Reichl, My Kitchen Year

I am now convinced that Ruth's cookbook, My Kitchen Year, is something every cook should own. I intended to simply flip through it and jot down recipes, but the writing is so compelling. I was pulled in straight away and read every page, start to finish. My Kitchen Year is so much more than a cookbook. It's the story of how Ruth overcame the end of an era, the shuttering of Gourmet magazine. Anyone who has ever suffered a great loss will identify with this book. Anyone who believes in kitchen therapy will love this book. Five pages in I knew I was holding something special. A cookbook that I can easily say is one of my all-time favorites, which is saying something because I a whole room of them.

So Ruth's Pumpkin Pancakes it is! Fluffy pumpkin pancakes that are light as a cloud with a beautiful orange hue and a subtle touch of pumpkin flavor. Ruth calls for the egg yolks to be mixed with the pumpkin puree and other liquids while the egg whites are beaten to a stiff peak and folded in later. This ensures a light tender pancake that goes down easily and doesn't weigh you down. Ruth also calls for all the typical pumpkin spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Oftentimes I feel as though pumpkin gets drowned out by all the spices, so I opted to use only a light touch of cinnamon. The end result was just as I had hoped: a mild tender pancake with a subtle pumpkin flavor! I garnished Ruth's Pumpkin Pancakes with some premium maple syrup, butter, and candied pecans. It was heaven on a plate.


"Gray skies. Rain. Fluffy sweaters and fluffy pancakes.
Warm butter. Real maple syrup. Candied pecans. Fall is here."


Ruth Reichl's Pumpkin Pancakes
Adapted from My Kitchen Year
by Ruth Reichl
Serves 4 to 6

3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1-1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
salt
4 eggs
8 tablespoons butter
1-1/4 cups milk
dash of vanilla

Note: Ruth says to add 1/4 teaspoons ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. However, I'm not a fan of spicy pumpkin, so I opted to go the more mild route, using only cinnamon. You will want to make sure you are using pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling as this would make your pancakes too sweet.

In a fairly large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Stir in a small amount (about 1/4 teaspoon) of each of the following spices: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add a pinch of cloves and a bit of salt.  *See my note above.*

Separate the eggs, putting theyolks into a small bowl and the whites into a larger one. Beat the whites with clean beaters until they're beginning to hold stiff peaks, and set aside.

Melt the butter (this recipe will also work with a mere 4 tablespoons of butter - but it won't be as good), and stir it into the egg yolks, along with the pumpkin puree, the milk, and just a dash of vanilla. Stir the blendedliquids carefully into the flour mixture.

Fold the whites into the flour and pumpkin mixture. 

Heat a griddle, slick it with oil or butter, and cook the pancakes at the size that you like best. I tend to like these better when they're on the small side. Serve with maple syrup. 




This week we are all about Orange Squash at I Heart Cooking Clubs. As soon as fall hits I crave butternut squash and pumpkin pie something fierce. In the past few weeks I've had Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese, Butternut Squash soup, Butternut Squash Parmigiana, Butternut Squash Tomato Sauce with pasta, Pumpkin Chai Bread, and several slices of Pumpkin Pie and all of it has left me wanting more. 

Here are my all-time favorite Orange Squash recipes. If you're into Orange Squash, then I highly suggest trying these out!

Click on the recipe titles to link to the original post


THIS IS NOT ONLY MY FAVORITE ORANGE SQUASH RECIPE, BUT IT IS HANDS DOWN ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE RECIPES! I can't explain how good this one is. Ironically, both of my butternut recipes in this roundup are Ina Garten recipes based off Ottolenghi recipes. That should tell you about all you need to know because Ottolenghi is known for his mind-blowing combinations of flavor and texture. This dish is a prime example of that. It's crunchy, creamy, chunky, sweet, savory, bright, and simply full of flavor. It's got everything a dish could have and then some.



This is the perfect appetizer to make for any fall get together. I love the brilliant orange color and all the fun toppings on the hummus. Creamy butternut squash hummus adorned with chunks of roasted butternut squash, roasted squash seeds, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a scattering of pretty green parsley. It is simply a masterpiece of a dish!



If pumpkin pie is something you make over the holidays, then I would encourage you to try Donna Hay's Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar Mascarpone Cream. It is a very light pumpkin pie, perfect for enjoying after a heavy Thanksgiving dinner, and then there's the Brown Sugar Mascarpone Cream...need I say more?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Ruth Reichl's Parmesan Walnut Salad in Endive Leaves


Today marks the beginning of a six-month cooking adventure with Ruth Reichl. I ordered Ruth's The Gourmet Cookbook, which is the largest cookbook I own, at over 1000 pages and over 1000 recipes. The cookbook is so big it's funny. My 11-year-old son says, "Wow, mom. You're like the biggest food nerd ever." Every time he sees me with it he tells me, "If you read that whole book then I'm gonna expect you to know everything there is to know about food."


 I've spent hours pouring through the book and I still haven't been able to look through it completely, which is saying something. It is simply enormous and full of great recipes and quite simply, I adore it. I highly recommend it to all avid home cooks.

I'm in a fit of laughter today because out of this ginormous cookbook full of recipes I've chosen to share Parmesan Walnut Salad in Endive Leaves first. How does that happen?

Let me explain. I started a list of all the Ruth recipes I wanted to make and as usual, it became quite long. I was thinking about starting my adventure with a pasta dish like Macaroni and Cheese or Four-Cheese Pasta, but then I started to think about how I was going to make a pasta dish next week. Then I thought about making a dip, but then I remembered I was making one the week after. So, in an effort to make something completely different and unlike my next few posts, I opted for this Parmesan Walnut Salad in Endive Leaves and I'm so glad I did!

The nuttiness of Parmesan is wonderfully paired alongside walnuts. Then the Parmesan and the walnuts are coated with a light touch of mayo, lemon juice, and olive oil, as well as finely diced celery and parsley. You've got a bit of everything as far as texture and flavor go. It's chewy and crunchy and bright and flavorful. The slight bitterness of the endive leaves makes it the perfect vehicle for the nutty sweetness of the Parmesan and walnuts.

This is really one amazing appetizer! More importantly, I think this is an appetizer than almost anyone would love. It's healthy, vegetarian, and light yet delicious. I think that goes a long way at parties these days. I can see the plate being wiped clean every time. Thanks to Ruth for an amazing recipe that will be a new go to!


Parmesan Walnut Salad in Endive Leaves
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
Makes about 25 Hors D'oeuvres

1 small garlic clove
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (6-ounce) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano, sliced 1/8" thick and cut into 1/8" dice
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 Belgian endives, trimmed and leaves separated

*Note: It's worth sourcing a very good Parmigiano for this recipe. Also, make sure your walnuts are fresh as they can go rancid if they languish in your pantry (I store mine in the refrigerator). When I typed up this recipe I realized that I omitted the olive oil by accident. This makes sense because my salad became dry when it sat and I had to add in a touch more mayo and lemon juice. I bet the olive oil would've loosened things up a touch more. If not, feel free to add a little more olive oil, lemon juice, and/or mayo before serving. Also, I found the leaves were great served with a wedge of lemon for drizzling right before eating. Word to the wise, I did season the dish with a touch of salt and pepper. I love salt and use it liberally. I held back on the salt in this recipe and was happy I did. I think it can quickly become too salty.

Using a large knife, mince and mash garlic to a paste with salt. Whisk together garlic paste, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and oil in a medium bowl. Stir in cheese and celery, then stir in walnuts, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate, covered for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to develop. Mound 1 tablespoon salad onto wide end of each endive leaf. Arrange on a platter and serve.


Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen

Saturday, September 29, 2018

My Top Five Eric Ripert Dishes!


It was fun six months cooking with Eric Ripert. Here are my top FIVE favorite Eric Ripert recipes, in no order!



I can't usually find figs, but I went through the trouble of sourcing them out to make these beautifully grilled figs. Grilling any fruit makes for a wonderfully caramelized coating that is super tasty all on its own, but when you had a fluffy and cloudlike honey-mascarpone cream, and a crunchy amaretti crumble, then you have perfection!




I didn't realize that I could have a delicious dessert with such humble ingredients. You can make a clafoutis with very humble pantry ingredients and a handful of fruit. I really loved these raspberry clafoutis, but you can make a clafoutis with any fruit, which is what I plan to do. I especially enjoyed these with a dollop of vanilla yogurt. My new go-to dessert!




Who doesn't love a cheesy potato puff? These are perfect as a side dish, an appetizer, or entertaining. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love them!




Ripert's Shrimp with Orzo, Tomatoes, and Ginger is a delicious and light dinner that is perfect for a hot summer night! Loved it!





With my produce from the Farmer's Market at the Castle, I made Eric Ripert's Pesto and tossed it with some Fettuccine, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Marinated Fresh Mozzarella, and the most beautiful purple basil. It was a fresh and colorful summer delight! One that I will crave until I can make it again next summer!