Saturday, October 27, 2012

Roasted pear salad with goat cheese and pine nuts

1 firm, almost-ripe pear (Bartlett or Bosc), peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 cups mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
3-4 oz crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, toss the pear, sugar, and butter. Arrange the pear in a single layer in a baking sheet or pie pan. Bake, turning once, until the pear is barely tender, 10—15 minutes. Dry roast the pine nuts in a skillet for 5 minutes, until toasty brown. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a glass cup measure, prepare the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and mustard. In a large salad bowl, mix the salad greens with the dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad onto two chilled plates. Arrange the roasted pears in a fan around the center, and sprinkle with the cranberries, goat cheese, and pine nuts. 

Adapted from Epicurious

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cinnamon swirl brioche bread

3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup milk (70º to 80ºF)
3 tablespoons water (70º to 80ºF)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes

Add first 8 ingredients (through yeast) to breadmachine and process on dough setting. When cycle is complete, transfer dough in a large oiled bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Transfer refrigerated dough on flat surface and roll out to about an 18 x 24 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, spread with cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle apples. Roll up dough and place in buttered 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Let rest for 2 hours or until doubled in size. 
Bake the loaf in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lamb stew with wheat berries in red wine sauce

Wheat berries
2 cups water
1 cup wheat berries

Garlic Yogurt
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
fine sea salt

1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 lb. lamb cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb. carrots, cut 1/4 inch thick (about 3 cups)
3/4 cups dark raisins
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

T prepare wheat berries, bring the water and the wheat berries to a boil in a medium pan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the wheat berries are tender with a slight chew, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain,, reserving the cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup)
Meanwhile, prepare the garlic yogurt. Beat the yogurt in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Stir in the garlic and season with sea salt. Chill covered until ready to serve.
To make the stew, place the tomatoes with their juices, wine, vinegar and paprika in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, gently crush the tomatoes and combine the mixture.
Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pan over medium heat until shimmering. Working in 2 or 3 batches, cook the lamb until browned on all sides, adding a bit more oil if the pan goes dry, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate. Decrease the heat to medium; add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the tomato mixture (it may splatter), the meat with its accumulated juices, the carrots, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the raisins, the wheat berries, and if needed, enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover the vegetables (the tips of the carrots will show). Return to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the lamb is fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Add more cooking liquid or water to thin, if you like.
To finish, season with the brown sugar and pepper, as well as a dash more balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve with the garlic yogurt.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tomato-rye risotto with cumin and chorizo

1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup rye berries

4 oz cured Spanish chorizo sliced 1/4 inch thick (casing removed) - I used Whole Foods spicy tofu chorizo
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion (about 1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
2 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, or cumin powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
about 1/2 cup water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar

For rye, bring the water and rye berries to a boil in a small pan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the berries are tender but still lightly chewy, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.
While the rye is steaming, start making the ryesotto. Have a plate with paper towels ready. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook, turning once with a spatula, until the slices are lightly  browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the slices to the paper towel-lined plate. Remove the pan from the heat. If you like, drain much of the rendered fat, leaving 1 tablespoon in the pan (or drain all and use olive oil instead).
Return the saucepan to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook, stirring frequently (stir constantly if using cumin powder) until the onion softens and just starts to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover  and cook until the flavors come together, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, rye berries, and chorizo. Add water if needed, up to ½ cup (depending on the tomatoes you use), to get a slightly saucelike consistency similar to a risotto. Bring to a boil, stirring. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the flavors come together, 10 to 15 minutes.To finish, add 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Taste for sugar and salt and adjust, adding a few twirls of pepper if you like, and serve.