January 4, 2012 · 4:13 am
Until last weekend, it had been about ten years since I’d made tiramisu; I promise it won’t be another ten until the next time. On New Year’s Day, my husband’s family makes and eats an Italian pasta called cappelletti, and I wanted to bring a special dessert for after the meal. A recent visit to Jimmy’s Food Store in east Dallas, a mecca of Italian specialties, inspired me to make tiramisu. It’s delicious, beautiful, easy and doesn’t require any cooking. Try it!
- 8 large eggs from pastured chickens, separated
- 1 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
- 1/4 cup Kahlua
- splash of maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups marscapone cheese
- 4 tbsp maple sugar
- 32 ladyfingers (avoid those made with enriched flour … or make your own!)
- unsweeted cocoa powder
- bittersweet chocolate shavings
Combine egg yolks, 2 tbsp espresso, 1 tbsp kahlua and sugar into large mixing bowl. Beat 2 minutes. Add marscapone, beat 3 minutes until smooth.
In another bowl, beat 5 egg whites until stiff peaks form (you will not need the remaining 3 whites). Fold beaten whites into marscapone mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine coffee, Kahlua and maple syrup. Arrange 1/2 of the ladyfingers in the bottom of a rectangular serving dish, and brush with half of coffee mixture; spread half of the marscapone cream mixture on top; sprinkle cocoa powder and chocolate shavings on top. Repeat one more time with remaining ingredients.
You may use a trifle bowl or springform pan; you’ll just have more than two layers.
Refrigerate for at least four hours, overnight is even better.
Feel free to experiment with different quantities of the ingredients. I consulted several cookbooks and recipes on the backs of the marscapone cheese and ladyfingers, and they varied greatly in the amount of sugar used (I used very little), the number of ladyfingers and the amount of liquor. The recipe above will serve more than 12 people.
Where does tiramisu get its name? In Italian, “tirami su” means pick me up. This dessert is so good that you’ll swoon, and need someone to pick you up off the floor. Cute, huh? Be well.
February 27, 2011 · 9:13 am
Sally Fallon Morell says that a good first step on the journey to eating nourishing real food is to learn how to make salad dressing. This advice has helped me a great deal; by making salads more tasty and interesting, I eat more of them. Most of the salad dressings at the grocery store contain oils you should stear clear of: soybean and canola.
I’ve stocked my cabinet with ingredients to make easy, delicious dressings at a moment’s notice. On the back of one of those ingredients, white wine vinegar, I found the following recipe from Marlene Sorosky Gray (cookbook author and food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle).
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBSP white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 TBSP fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Mix oil vinegar, mustard and orange juice. Stir in blue cheese, season to taste (May store in refrigerator for a few weeks.) Stir in walnuts before serving. Makes about 1/2 cup.
This dressing can be served over cooked asparagus, broccoli or green beans. I like it on a salad, with all the leaves lightly coated with dressing:
- wash Romaine (or your favorite) lettuce
- dry it in an OXO Salad Spinner
- chop it with an OXO Lettuce Knife
- sprinkle lettuce with real salt
- in a large bowl, toss lettuce with just enough dressing to lightly coat
- sprinkle with toasted walnuts, and serve
I hope you enjoy this. I’ll post more salad dressings in the future. Be well!
February 22, 2011 · 4:23 am
I’ve lived in the south all my life, and grits were always a breakfast dish made with white corn grits, mixed with butter and salt; yum. I have an Italian grandmother, and now an Italian husband, and yellow corn grits has always been polenta; also yum.
As contemporary American chefs get back to basic food traditions, I’m finding grits on the menu more often, and it’s not just for breakfast anymore. I was inspired to make this after a visit to Hattie’s (an American bistro with a southern low-country influence) in Dallas. Whether you call it grits or polenta, I have an easy, yummy recipe for you.
Cook the grits according to package directions; I use chicken stock or broth, instead of water, for flavor. The War Eagle grits have microwave instructions, Bob’s Red Mill has stove top instructions. Leave the grits mushy, there’s no need to let it set up in a bowl to cut into cakes.
Toss the shrimp with good olive oil and sea salt and pepper. Spread them in one layer on a sheet pan, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. (This great method for cooking shrimp is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook – a great resource.)
Cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pan and reserve the fat. Mix bacon fat with Tabasco Chipotle to taste.
- mix the grits with cheese and butter, place on plate
- top with shrimp
- break bits of crispy bacon over dish
- spoon bacon Tabasco sauce over the top
Serve hot with a big salad, a nice glass of chilled white wine and enjoy! Be well.
February 16, 2011 · 5:48 pm
Serendipity struck in the kitchen last night: I made a delicious broccoli cheddar soup on the fly, and it was terrific! You’ll see from the picture on the left, that it’s bright green, not orangey-yellow. When you mix green broccoli with naturally white cheese, you get a beautiful bright green soup.
Mainstream cheddar is orange only because industrial food companies dye it that way. I had a lightbulb moment about this last weekend when I visited some cheese artisans at the Texas Daily Harvest farm in east Texas. I must tell you, this was a revelation to me.
My broccoli cheddar soup was serendipitous because I was making another dish, and ended up with mushy broccoli that I couldn’t use. I had meant to blanch my broccoli, and then put it in an ice bath, but I ended up letting it boil too long. This turned out to be a great thing, because it turned into a delicious, easy soup. I hope you like it.
I blended it for five minutes on high in my Vitamix blender*, and it came out velvety smooth and piping hot. Drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil (Tutta Toscana) over the top, and enjoy! You may also want to experiment by adding a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, and maybe some toasted pine nuts. Buon appetito!
*If you don’t have a high-performance blender such as Vitamix or Blendtec, you’ll need to heat it on the stove. (Blend the broccoli with the liquid ingredients, pour it in the pot, add the shredded cheese, and heat.) I love the Vitamix; it makes hot soups, smoothies, and so much more; I use it almost every day. It has an air-cooled motor that allows it to run for long periods of time without overheating.
August 26, 2010 · 10:58 pm
One of the great benefits of eating well is making new, delicious meals. I never got anything like this from the McDonald’s drive-thru!
(based on a modified New Basics recipe from Ann Marie at Cheeseslave)
15 ounces wild Alaskan salmon (I used canned Bear and Wolf from Costco)
3/4 cups toasted bread crumbs (toast 4 slices frozen sprouted bread, pulse in food processor)
1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise (I used the recipe for mayonnaise in Nourishing Traditions – make it ahead of time to allow it to thicken)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper (or celery)
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp organic Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup macadamia nut oil to start, more as needed
mayo to serve
- Mince all the veggies together in a food processor.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the salmon with 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, along with all the other ingredients (except for the macadamia oil and the mayo to serve).
- Shape into patties. Roll the patties in the rest of the breadcrumbs.
- Heat 1/2 cup of macadamia oil in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet on medium heat. Cook the patties 3-4 minutes on each side, until brown and crispy.
- Serve with mayonnaise
Serves 4. Serve with a big salad and a glass of wine.
Notes: If you use prepared bread crumbs, read the label to make sure it is just bread crumbs (e.g., no vegetable oil or other chemicals). Don’t be afraid to make real mayonnaise; throw out that stuff with soybean oil. A panini grill is a great way to heat the leftovers. Enjoy!