Grilled Goat Cheese Crostini with a Tangle of Marinated Roasted Peppers

Servings: 8
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Source: Fine Cooking Issue 87

Goat cheese speckled with fresh thyme is the perfect creamy counterpoint to the sweet, tangy roasted peppers in this recipe. Serve these crostini as an appetizer or paired with a simple green salad for a light lunch.

Ingredients: 

3 medium bell peppers (1 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow)
3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Grilled Garlic Bread
One 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-oz. container of soft, spreadable goat cheese (such as Chavrie), at room temperature

Directions: 

Prepare a medium-high grill fire. Grill the bell peppers, turning occasionally, until the skin chars all over, 15 to 20 min. Put the charred peppers in a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 30 min.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 tsp. of the thyme, salt, and about 5 grinds of pepper. Mix well.
Remove the pepper skins and seeds and cut the peppers into thin strips. Add the peppers to the vinegar mixture and let them marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. (Refrigerate if making more than a few hours ahead and return to room temperature before assembling the crostini.
Spread each slice of the grilled garlic bread with a generous layer of goat cheese, sprinkle with some of the remaining thyme, and top with a tangle of the peppers and a small grind of black pepper. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Baked Beans

Servings: 8
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: 24 hours
Source: http://awaytogarden.com/recipe-baking-up-some-heirloom-beans/

The way I cook is all about big pots-full of things, and freezing or canning for later: cook once, eat multiple times. For the price of 1 pound of dry beans and a few simple ingredients, the yield is enough for six or eight portions, most of which are frozen in small containers for later use.

This easy recipe takes very little active prep, but lots of waiting on each end for soaking and then baking.

Ingredients: 

1 pound dry beans (I like a Cranberry type, but a creamier-textured Navy-style small white bean is the traditional choice and cooks faster; in this batch I used ‘Yellow Eye’)
2 quartered medium onions
1/4 cup+ molasses
1/4 cup+ maple syrup
4 Tbsp. grainy mustard
4-6 Italian-style paste tomatoes, roughly cut up—alternatively use other tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or even some red sauce
boiling water, enough to cover an inch or so above solids in pot
small amount of olive oil

Directions: 

Soak the beans overnight; discard the water. Add fresh water and simmer beans briefly (maybe 30 minutes) to just barely tender while preheating oven to 350ish. The “right” temperature really varies with the size of pot you are using; you want the beans to bubble in the oven.

Put water on to boil.

Coat an oven-proof covered pot, such as a Dutch oven or large Pyrex casserole or ceramic bean pot, with a splash of olive oil. Lay the quartered onions in the bottom. (Note on selecting a pot: There must be enough headroom to put in all ingredients above, plus at least 1 inch of boiling water, plus clearance to prevent overflows.)

Drain beans; dress them with the other ingredients above (sweeteners and mustard and tomatoes). Pour over the onions.

Pour boiling water over the mixture until it’s an inch or so above the solids.

Cover and bake until done, between two hours and forever. Many recipes say to leave baked beans uncovered while cooking; doing so, with certain large beans, I have had it take six hours or more. I cover the casserole, and periodically check to see if water is receding. If so, I taste a bean; if not nearly ready, I add more boiling water, often a couple of times.

Once the beans reach an almost-ready tenderness, uncover and turn up heat to 375F the last hour (give or take) to reduce the liquid to a thick, dark brown syrup, turning the ingredients a couple of times to mix everything up.

If the flavor isn’t sweet enough, or tomato-ey enough, or wants salt, add it during this last phase. Or balance the maple-to-molasses ratio to suit your taste. This is a flexible process, not delicate chemistry. You can even make the beans soupier, with more sauce than I like, by not cooking down so long.

Again: The freshness of the beans you start with, how well you soak/cook them first, and the vessel you cook in really make the timing and temperature combination vary. Experiment.

Crostini with Brie Dates and Toasted Walnuts

Servings: 8
Preheat: 425
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Source: Fine Cooking

This nibble builds on the classic pairing of cheese, dried fruit, and nuts. A splash of balsamic vinegar helps bring together all the flavors. The crostini are best served right out of the oven, though they can also hold for an hour or two at room temperature.

Ingredients: 

1 medium baguette (about 1/2 lb.), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (about 24 slices)
2 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup Medjool dates (about 6 to 8), pitted and coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
6 oz. brie, rind trimmed and softened to room temperature
2 Tbs. thinly sliced chives

Directions: 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Set the bread slices on a large baking sheet; dab both sides with the oil and sprinkle one side lightly with salt (about 1/4 tsp. for all the bread). Bake until the bread starts to brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the walnuts with the dates, honey, and vinegar.

While the bread is still warm, spread with brie and then top with the date and nut mixture. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.

Molly Yeh’s Dark Chocolate Marzipan Scone Loaf

Servings: 1 8X4 loaf Pan
Preheat: 400
Prep Time:
Source: Food 52

This charming loaf may look like a pound cake, and act like a pound cake—and travel well and make sweet gifts like a pound cake. But it’s quite a different little number, and thanks to a slew of hidden perks—it’s better.

Ingredients: 

7 to 8 ounces (200 to 225 grams) marzipan, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Jam, for serving

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing 1-inch wings to hang over the edges on the long sides.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the marzipan and powdered sugar to coat. Add the chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and pulse to combine. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is in the size of peas. Add this to the bowl with the marzipan. (Note: If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut the butter in quickly with your hands or a pastry blender.)
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk or cream, and the extracts and add to the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and bake until deep golden brown on top and firm when you poke it with your finger, with no squishy give (indicating an undercooked middle). Begin checking for doneness at 40 minutes. If you want to be extra sure it’s done, an instant-read thermometer should read 205°F to 212°F (95°C to 100°C) in the middle.
  6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using the parchment wings, remove to the rack to cool completely. Slice with a serrated knife and serve with jam.

Green bean salad

Servings: 4 to 6
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Source: Jamie Deen – Food Network

Does not need almonds or basil

Ingredients: 

Kosher salt
1 pound slender green beans, ends trimmed
1 cup feta cheese crumbles
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 large garlic clove minced
Fresh ground pepper

Directions: 

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the green beans and cook until tender crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a spider to remove to a bowl of ice water. Drain well, pat dry and place the beans in a large bowl. Combine with the feta cheese, tomatoes and red onions.

Toast the almonds in a small skillet, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, garlic and some salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the green beans and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Cod Cakes

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Servings: 4 to 6 servings as a main course, 6 to 8 servings as an appetizer
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus chilling
Source: Sam Sifton https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017976-cod-cakes

Cod cakes are terrific with cod, but can be made with any white-fleshed fish. Poach the fillets in bay-leaf-scented water, then flake the cooled meat into a New Englandish mirepoix of sautéed onions and celery. Eggs and cracker crumbs will help bind everything together below a drift of spice. Make sure to leave some time to chill the resulting patties in the refrigerator – the cold will help them set up so they don’t fall apart in the sauté pan. A light smear of mayonnaise on the exterior of the cakes before you fry them will encourage the most glorious crust. Serve with a thatch of green salad, a bowl of chowder or a neat pile of slaw.

Ingredients: 

4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, cut into eighths
1 pound cod fillets, or other white flaky fish
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ribs celery, trimmed, peeled and diced
1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or to taste
1 ‘‘sleeve’’ unsalted saltine crackers, crushed, or 1 heaping cup panko bread crumbs
½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup neutral oil, like canola

Directions: 

Fill a shallow, wide pan with high sides with about an inch of water, and set it over high heat. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf and 1 section of the lemon to the water, and allow it to come to a bare simmer. Place the fish into this poaching liquid, and cook, barely simmering, until the flesh has just begun to whiten all the way through, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Using a wide spatula, carefully remove the fish from the water, and set aside to cool.

Empty the pan, and return it to the stove, over medium-high heat. Add the butter, and allow it to melt, swirling it around the pan. When the butter foams, add the celery, onions and garlic, and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables soften and the onions turn translucent, then transfer them to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, salt, pepper and seasoning salt (or paprika and hot-pepper flakes), then add this mixture to the bowl with the sautéed vegetables, pour the crushed saltines or bread crumbs over them and stir to combine. Add the parsley, and stir again.

Flake the cooked fish into the binding sauce carefully, keeping the flakes as whole as you can manage, then gather them into small balls, and form them into patties, 4-6 for a main course, 6-8 for an appetizer. Place them on a sheet pan or platter, cover loosely with plastic wrap and transfer them to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.

Set a large sauté pan over high heat, and add to it the neutral oil. When the oil is shimmering, remove the fish cakes from the refrigerator, and carefully sauté the patties until they are golden brown, approximately 4 to 5 minutes a side. Work in batches if necessary. (A small smear of mayonnaise on the exterior of the patties will give them a crisp crust.) Serve them alone, or with greens dressed in a lemony vinaigrette, with the remaining wedges of lemon.

Korean-Style Chicken Wings

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Servings: 4 to 6
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 45 min
Source: New York Times, Mark Bittman

Wings have a higher ratio of skin to meat than almost any other cut of chicken, which is what makes them so appealing. In order to crisp the skin, you need to render out most of the fat that comes with it, otherwise you’ll get chewy wings instead of crunchy ones.

Ingredients: 

3 pounds of chicken wings
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Korean red chili paste or sriracha
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger

Directions: 

Cut 3 pounds of chicken wings into three sections; save the wing tips for stock. Toss the wings with a little neutral oil to keep them from sticking.

Heat a charcoal or gas grill; the fire should be moderately hot and the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat. Leave one side of the grill cooler for indirect cooking.

Put the wings on the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook, checking and turning once or twice, until most of the fat has been rendered, and the wings are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the wings cook, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup Korean red chili paste or sriracha, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons minced garlic and 1 tablespoon minced ginger in a large bowl.

When the wings are cooked, add them to the bowl with the sauce, and toss to coat. Now put the wings on the hot part of the grill, and cook, uncovered, turning as necessary, until they’re nicely browned on both sides.

Broccoli Rabe and Potato Pizza

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Servings: 6 to 8
Preheat: 450
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Source: Fine Cooking Issue 145

Broccoli rabe and potatoes, a classic Italian combination, is even better topped with creamy, smoky mozzarella.

Ingredients: 

1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick (about 1 cup)
2-1/2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary 12 oz. broccoli rabe, trimmed and finely chopped (about 7-1/2 cups)
All-purpose flour, for the pizza peel
1 lb. store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
6 oz. coarsely grated mozzarella
4 oz. coarsely grated smoked mozzarella
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 oz. finely grated Grana Padano (1/2 cup)

Directions: 

Position a pizza stone on a rack in the center of the oven, and heat to 450°F.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the potato slices for 1 minute. Rinse under cold water, gently pat dry with paper towels, and set aside.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat. add the rosemary and cook, stirring often, until crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the broccoli rabe to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stalks are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Generously flour a pizza peel or a large cookie sheet. Stretch the pizza dough on the peel to a 14-inch circle. Evenly distribute half of both mozzarellas over the dough, then half of the potatoes, half of the broccoli rabe, and all of the garlic, covering most of the surface. Crumble the fried rosemary leaves over the pizza. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, broccoli rabe, and mozzarella. Season with a pinch of salt and a few generous grinds of pepper, and carefully slide onto the pizza stone.

Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is just melted, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven, top with the grana Padano, and drizzle with the remaining oil. Cool briefly and serve.

Phat Thai

Servings: 1
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1 hour
Source: Pok Pok by Andy Ricker

SERVES 1 AS A ONE-PLATE MEAL !!!
I edited ingredients slightly to facilitate purchasing of common items.
Note, the tamarind water and palm sugar syrup can/should be made ahead of time and frozen.

Ingredients: 

SHRIMP AND SAUCE
1 tablespoon medium-size dried shrimp, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoon Tamarind Water, page 275
2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon palm sugar simple syrup, page 275
1 ½ tablespoons Thai fish sauce

STIR FRY
2 ¼ ounces (dried “phat thai” noodles, soaked in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes
2 tablespoons rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 ¼ ounces extra firm tofu, cut into small pieces about 1” X ½“ X ¼“, about ¼ cup
1 tablespoon shredded salted radish, soaked in water 10 minutes then drained
2 ounces bean sprouts (about 1 cup, lightly packed)
2 ounces medium shrimp (about 4), shelled and deveined
¼ cup very coarsely chopped (about 1-inch lengths) garlic chives or scallions, plus a pinch or two for finishing
2 generous tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

TO SERVE ALONGSIDE
2 small lime wedges
fish sauce
granulated sugar
Vinegar soaked chiles
Toasted chile powder

Directions: 

TOAST THE SHRIMP AND MAKE THE SAUCE

Heat a small dry pan or wok over medium heat, add the dried shrimp, and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re dry all the way through and slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Set them aside in a small bowl. Covered at room temperature, they’ll keep for up to 1 week.

Combine the tamarind water, simple syrup, and fish sauce in a small bowl and stir well. Measure ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons, discarding the rest.

SOAK THE NOODLES AND STIR-FRY THE DISH

Soak the noodles in lukewarm water until they’re very pliable but not fully soft, about 20 minutes. Drain them well and snip them into approximately 8-inch lengths just before stir-frying.

Heat 3 large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat (or a wok over vary high heat), add the pork fat, and swirl it to coat the sides. When it begins to smoke lightly, crack the egg into the center of the pan (it should spit and sizzle violently and the whites should bubble and puff). Add the tofu, radish, and dried shrimp beside the egg. If you’re using a skillet, decrease the heat to medium; if you’re using a wok, keep the heat very high.

Cook, stirring everything but the egg, until the edges of the egg are light golden brown, about 1 minute, then flip the egg (it’s fine if the yolk breaks), break the egg into several pieces with the spatula, and stir everything together well.

Add the noodles and bean sprouts, and stir-fry (constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping) until the noodles and bean sprouts have softened slightly; about 1 minute.

Add the shrimp, then stir the tamarind mixture once more and add it to the pan. Stir—fry, making sure the shrimp get plenty of time on the hot surface, until they are cooked through, just about all the liquid has evaporated, and the noodles are fully tender and no longer look gloppy or clumpy, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the chives and 1 tablespoon of the peanuts. Stir-fry briefly, then transfer it all to a plate, sprinkle on the remaining peanuts and chives, and serve with the lime wedges. Season to taste with the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar—soaked chiles, and chile powder.

Smoked-Trout Spread

Servings: 8
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Source: New York Times, FLORENCE FABRICANT

The guests are trickling in, and soon the table will be overflowing. But not just yet. What to do? Several days in advance, you may want to whip up your own smoked trout spread to pack in a bowl and offer with bagel chips or squares of pumpernickel. Those impatient stomachs will thank you.

Ingredients: 

6 ounces skinned, boned smoked trout, about 2 fillets
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
Ground black pepper

Directions: 

1. Break up trout into food processor, add chives and grind until finely minced. Pulse in lemon juice and yogurt. Season with pepper.
2. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Add additional to thin