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Thursday
Jun122014

Recipe: Lyonnaise Salad {Salade Lyonnaise}

Salade Lyonnaise

Adapted from David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Garlic Croutons

2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more if needed

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 1/2 c cubed or torn pieces of bread, about 3/4 inch in size

Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

Salad

8 to 12 new potatoes

Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

2 cups diced, thick cut bacon

4 tsp red wine vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

5 Tbsp olive oil or neutral-tasting oil

1 Tbsp water

2 tsp peeled and minced garlic

8 c loosely packed frisee or escarole leaves

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives

Freshly ground pepper

4 poached eggs or 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered

Instructions

To make the croutons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil and garlic. Season with salt to taste.

Spread croutons in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until croutons are crisp and golden brown. 

To make the salad 

Put the potatoes in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Add some salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to a low boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a sharp knife.

While the potatoes are cooking, fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until just starting to crisp. Drain the pieces on a plate lined with paper towels.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, oil, water, garlic and a pinch of salt to make the vinaigrette.

To assemble the salad: Quarter the potatoes and toss in the vinaigrette, along with the bacon, while still warm. Add the frisee, parsley, croutons, and some pepper to taste. Toss well. 

Divide among four salad bowls. Place one poached (or hard cooked) egg on top of each salad and serve.

Sunday
Jun012014

Recipe: Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine June 2014

Yield: 6 persons

Ingredients

2 oz bacon, finely chopped

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

5 oz shallots, minced (about 1 cup)

1/4 c dry white wine

2 c corn kernels (3 -4 ears of corn)

4-6 (new) red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)

4 c chicken stock

chives (or an herb of your choice), finely chopped 

1/3 c heavy cream

Instructions

Cook bacon in a medium stock-pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Stir in butter until melted. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add wine and cook until almost no liquid remains.

Add stock, corn and potatoes to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, but not falling apart, 8-10 minutes.

Pulse a few times with an immersion blender, just until some of the corn mixture is pureed. (Take care to completely submerge the head of the blender, so that the hot liquid does not splash up.)

Stir in cream and chives. Serve immediately, with a nice grind of fresh pepper.

Saturday
Mar222014

Recipe: Classic Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Classic Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Adapted from Michael Ruhlman's The Book of Schmaltz

Yield: 8-12 matzo balls

Ingredients 

For the Matzo Balls

1 c matzo meal (or 4 squares of matzo, well pulverized in a food processor

4 large eggs, beaten

1/4 c schmaltz, melted

1/4 c gribenes (optional)

1/4 c chicken stock or water

1 t baking powder

1 t kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Soup

2 quarts chicken stock

4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

A few sprigs of dill or parsley

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until they are thoroughly mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to 24 hours.

With damp hands, form the matzo mixture into 8-12 golf-ball size orbs (they will double in size).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a brisk boil, and then reduce the heat. Add the matzo balls and let the water return to a simmer. Cover the pot, and simmer until the matzo balls are cooked through, 30-40 minutes.*

Ten minutes before the matzo balls are ready, bring the prepared chicken stock to a simmer. Add the carrots and cook until al dente.

To serve, ladle some soup, a few pieces of carrot and two matzo balls into each bowl. Sprinkle with dill or parsley and serve immediately.

*The matzo balls can be made up to this point the day before. When they are cool, individually wrap them in saran wrap and store in the refrigerator.  Reheat in simmering stock when ready to serve.


Saturday
Mar222014

Recipe: Schmaltz {Rendered Chicken Fat, flavored with Onion}

Schmaltz {Rendered Chicken Fat, flavored with Onion}

Adapted from Micheal Ruhlman's The Book of Schmaltz

Yield: 1/2 c Schmaltz and 1/3 c Gribenes

Ingredients

Skin and fat from 8 chicken thighs or 1 lb miscellaneous reserved chicken skin and fat, chopped into small pieces*

1/4 c water

1 Spanish onion, cut into medium dice

Instructions

Cook the chopped chicken fat and skin in the water to begin rendering at a gentle temperature.

Once the water and moisture in the fat/skin have cooked off, the temperature of the fat will rise above 212 F and browning of the fat/skin will begin. 

When the skin is lightly brown and plenty of fat has been rendered, add the chopped onion.

Be careful not to overcook the fat. It should remain clear and yellow, not brown with an overly roasted taste.

The browned skin and onion, called gribenes, are a delicious by-product of making smaltz.

Strain the fat and reserve the gribenes. The schmaltz is ready to use or it can be refrigerated up to a week. Alternatively, it can be frozen. The gribenes should also be refrigerated or frozen.

*Chopping chicken fat is a slippery business. Freezing the skin/fat before chopping makes for a much easier time.

Tuesday
Jan212014

Recipe: Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake

Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake

Adapted from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

Yield: one 9-inch tube cake

Ingredients

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature

2 c all-purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 c sugar

2 large eggs

1 t vanilla extract

1 c sour cream

1 c frozen sour cherries, thawed and well drained

1 c streusel (recipe below)

milk glaze (recipe below)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream -- beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the cherries in a single layer on top of the batter; avoid placing any cherries against the pan's edge, as they may stick or burn if not fully encased in batter. Top with remaining batter, making sure to distribute evenly. Smooth batter with an offset spatula. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake cake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Transfer pan to a wire rack, set over a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper; let cool at least 15 minutes. Invert cake onto rack, then re-invert so streusel side is up.

When cake is completely cool, spoon glaze over cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let cake sit until the glaze is set before serving.

Cake can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to 4 days.

 

Streusel

Note: this recipe makes enough streusel for 2 coffee cakes. The streusel  can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks, if you choose to make the whole recipe.

Ingredients

2 1/4 c all purpose flour

3/4 c packed light brown sugar

2  1/4 t ground cinnamon

a pinch of salt

3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature

Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; cut in butter using a pastry blender, until large, moist clumps form.

 

Milk glaze

Ingredients

1 c confectioner's sugar

2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and milk until completely smooth. Immediately drizzle glaze over cake.