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Recently I discovered (and shared on Twitter) that there were 243 cookbooks in my apartment. The number has since risen to 245. I was both proud and horrified by the number. It is a lot of books. It is especially a lot of books for a small, one-bedroom apartment. Poor Bryan . At least a hundred of them are in piles around the house, so my new years resolution is to find a storage solution for all of these books. Wish me luck. One of the two recent additions to the collection was Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen (published in the UK as Baked in America- which is a much better title). It is a book from the two guys who own Outsider Tart bakery in London. The bakery sells American baked goods (whoopie pies, cupcakes, layer cakes, etc) to Brits, and apparently is popular. I didn’t know much about the bakery, and somehow missed the US release of the book back in the Autumn. I honestly have no idea why I bought this cookbook. Why do we buy most things? Boredom? I read a thing? I was hungry? Anyway, I added another general baking book to the dozens that I own and depleted even more of my expendable income. Bad idea, right? Wrong! I am here to say, it is a great cookbook. I read so many of these things that I have become skilled at recognizing the real deal. It is the real deal, the recipes are great. I have baked two cakes, both of which we loved, and now these cookies. These insane rainbow-sprinkled cookies that I was afraid I would be disappointed by. Not liking chocolate, I have eaten a lot of sugar cookies in my day. They are almost always bad—too chewy, too sweet, too eggy, too vanilla-y. I expected these to fall into one of those categories, but I was feeling self-destrucive and baked them anyway. They defied all of the categories of failure (and my expectations!) and are probably the best sugar cookie I have ever eaten. Seriously. They have a crisp edge and a soft center—soft, not chewy. Chewy would be bad. Soft, almost like a cake. Anyway, I am crazy about this recipe. And also, obviously, sprinkles! Sprinkles are just cool. I don’t care what Alice Waters says. Also, I actually believe I like the flavor of rainbow sprinkles. I don’t know if it is the Red 40 or food wax or what, but I think they taste really good. Sorry. So anyway, this book, which I expected to be disappointed by, is on its way to becoming one of favorite baking books. Oh, life! You’ll see from the pictures that I also made a classy (I hate that word!) version with white sprinkles. Forget it. Use rainbow. They taste better. The recipe suggests making GIANT cookies. I respectfully disagree. I like smaller cookies, because the crisp edge is my favorite part. I used a 2 oz ice cream scoop. You should do what you like! Also, the recipe can easily be halved. And if you don’t want to roll in rainbow sprinkles, you can top with sugar or glaze….but I can’t vouch for either of those options. Sugar Saucers (from Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen)  4 cups (600g) all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil 1 cup (225g) granulated sugar 1 cup (200g) confectioners’ sugar 2 large eggs 4 teaspoons vanilla extract rainbow sprinkles, for decorating In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for about a minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the oil, and then add the two sugars, the eggs, and the vanilla. Make sure to stir well after each of the additions. Slowly add the flour mixture, about a quarter at a time. Mix just until the flour disappears. The dough will be soft. Refrigerate for at least an hour before proceeding (up to 3 days). Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop (or up to a 5 oz scoop), divide the dough into balls. Roll each ball in rainbow sprinkles until thoroughly coated.  Place them on baking sheets with enough room for them to spread (if you are making giant cookies you will probably only get 4 per sheet). Use your fingers to flatten each ball slightly. Bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on the size. Bake until the edges start to turn golden. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Permalink to Sugar Saucers | 59 comments so far


Alan Richardson and Karen Tack, authors of New York Times bestselling cupcake cookbook Hello, Cupcake! and the upcoming What's New, Cupcake? sent us these instructions and photo on how to make adorable football cupcakes. As soon as I posted this saying I couldn't get the photo to upload, it uploaded. What do you know? I really don't care about the Super Bowl, personally, but I do love Malomars, so I'm all about this! Visit the Hello, Cupcake! blog for more fun cupcake decorating tips. Super Superbowl Cupcakes We love the Saints, but wait, we also love the Colts. We are so torn between the two that we are pretty sure we will be binging on cupcakes to soothe our nerves during halftime on Super Bowl Sunday. So what better way to tame our "who do we love more" anxiety than with a big supply of Football Cupcakes for the halftime break. To make our football cupcakes: We made the footballs from Malomars and marshmallows. A perfect pairing because both are tasty marshmallow treats. Malomars are only available in the cooler months so they are a rare seasonal treat and we want to make the most of them while we can (eat your heart out Alice Waters). The football is made by placing a Malomar on each cupcake (attached with frosting). We cut a marshmallow in half on the diagonal and placed the triangle-shaped half marshmallow at each end of the Malomar and filled in the gaps to shape the football. We chilled the footballs in the freezer while we melted chocolate frosting in the microwave. In 20 to 30 seconds, with occasional stirring, the frosting was the texture of slightly whipped cream. We removed the footballs from the freezer, dipped each in the melted frosting, letting the excess drip off, then inverted and set aside. Once the frosting was firm we added details with vanilla frosting to make the laces and stripes. The last step was to pipe green-tinted frosting under each football for Astroturf. We served them on a square of real Astroturf with sprinkles and Jelly Belly Licorice Pastels for the markings. We wish both teams the best and all we can say is— Game Is On, Cupcake.


Tweet #pin-wrapper > a {background-image:none !important;} Spring is finally here! Have a wonderful weekend. From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I made a quantity of apricot jam this week, and, when you have a lots of it on hand, it becomes imperative to find ways in which to use it. This simple recipe is at the top of my list. It was developed by Alice Waters 40 years ago and it is as good today as it was them. Now, I'm perfectly willing to admit that only a fool would try to capture the airy quality of a souffle with a point and shoot camera, but I'm a very slow learner, so I proceeded anyway. I did some advance planning and today's pictures represent my best effort to date. Plans and good intentions aside, my souffle began to deflate as soon as it was taken from the oven and, even moving on the wings of eagles, mine had lost an inch of its height before I could snap its picture. I hope you'll trust me when I tell you that this is a luscious dessert. It may only be gorgeous for a minute, but the wonderful flavor of the souffle saves the day, and only your pride will be hurt should you decide to try it. It is important to use a really good apricot jam when you make this. The recipe is basically jam and beaten egg whites and when so few ingredients are used it's really important to use the best you can find. I hope you try this. It's not hard to do and the result, while a bit homely, is delicious. Here's the recipe. Apricot Souffle ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Alice Waters Ingredients: 1/2 cup strained good quality apricot jam 2 egg yolks 1 tablespoon amaretto, kirsch, or orange liqueur 6 egg whites Finely chopped almonds 8 ramekins with 1/2 cup capacity each, or a 1 quart souffle dish Directions: 1) Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter and and coat a 1-quart souffle dish or 8 (1/2-cup) ramekins with sugar. Set aside. 2) Combine jam with egg yolks and liqueur in a large bowl. If jam is very thick, pour it into a saucepan and gently warm it until it melts. Cool slightly, then stir in egg yolks and liqueur. 3) Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. 4) Working in three parts, gently fold egg whites into jam/yolk base. 5) Pour mixture into prepared dish(es). For best visual effect, fill dish(es) all the way to the top. Sprinkle top with almonds. 6) Place ramekins or souffle dish into oven, or place on a baking sheet to catch drips. 7) Reduce oven temperature to 375 F. For a large dish, bake for 20-25 minutes (until risen and golden on top). For the small ramekins, bake for 10-12 minutes (until risen and golden on top). Yield: 8 servings. You might also like these recipes: Cold Lime Souffle - One Perfect Bite Cranberry Souffle - One Perfect Bite Crock-Pot Dried Apricot Jam - One Perfect Bite This post is being linked to: Pink Saturday , sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... Despite a forecast of bad weather, we're heading to the coast for the holiday. Bob and I both love the sea and, strange as it might seem, we love it most when it's raging and buried in drifts of fog. This has the makings of our kind of weekend. Pounding waves and screeching gulls will be music to our ears. While we'll do some eating out, provisions for Easter dinner will come with us. The traveling larder will include gravlaxs, double-cut lamb chops and the fixing for soy glazed potatoes and this lovely vegetable ragout. Dessert will probably be a simple lemon pudding with apricot sauce. The ragout comes from Alice Waters, who does simple better than the legions who try to imitate her. I absolutely love this recipe and the bright shot of green it puts on any table. Three basic ingredients are quickly cooked in what becomes a light butter sauce. If not overcooked the ragout would be fit for Lucullus. The downside of this is the amount of chopping required to bring the dish to the table. That is the only downside. The beautiful ragout, especially if made with the very freshest of vegetables, will bring Spring to your table. Here's the recipe. Spring Vegetable Ragout ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy Of Alice Waters Ingredients: 3/4 pounds fresh green peas (See Cook's Note) 3/4 pound asparagus 3 spring onions (about 3/4 cup sliced) 3 tablespoons butter, divided use 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or chervil Salt and pepper to taste Directions: 1) Shell fresh peas or thaw 1 cup frozen petite peas under cold running water. Set aside. Snap tough ends from asparagus. Discard. Slice stalks into diagonal slices 1/4-inch thick. Cut tips into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Set aside. Trim and thinly slice spring onions. 2) Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy bottomed skillet. Add onions and cook over medium heat until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add asparagus and peas; stir to combine. Add water and cook until vegetables are just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add reserved 1 tablespoon butter and parsley or chervil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings. Cook's Note: If fresh peas are not available, substitute 1 cup best quality thawed frozen peas. You might also enjoy these recipes: Moroccan Carrots - One Perfect Bite Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame - One Perfect Bite Green Beans with Sesame Miso Sauce - One Perfect Bite


1/4 cup olive oil 1 onion , peeled and diced 1 carrot , peeled and diced 1 teaspoon coriander seed , crushed 1 teaspoon cumin seed , crushed 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1/4 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes salt fresh ground black pepper 6 fresh cilantro stems , coarsely chopped 1 head cauliflower , trimmed of green leaves and coarsely chopped or 6 cups cauliflower 3 cups chicken broth 3 cups water 1 1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chile powder, turmeric, chile flakes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often, over medium heat. 2 2. When very soft but not browned, add the cilantro sprigs, cauliflower, chicken broth, and water. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 30 minutes. 3 3. Stir vigorously with a spoon or whisk to coarsely purée the soup. You may need to add more broth or water to thin the soup if it is too thick. 4 4. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve hot. Garnish each serving with yogurt, cilantro or mint, and a squeeze of lime juice. 5 VARIATIONS. 6 For a richer soup, use all chicken broth. 7 For a lighter, vegetarian soup, use all water.


A couple of weekends ago we had some friends over for lunch. We live on the top floor of a 100-year old building and during the summer it is hot. Turning on the oven is not an option when we are entertaining, so we tend to serve things that can be prepared in advance. In fact, I am developing quite a repertoire of recipes that can be prepared in advance and served cold or room temperature. This farmers market tabbouleh is being added to that ever-growing list. I was inspired by something I’d seen in the Morito cookbook, an assortment of tabbouleh that adapt to the seasons.

This is one of the few times you could find me at the farmers market actually being inspired (spontaneously!) by the season. I usually have a plan— lists, even! But there I was like a genuine Alice Waters-zombie creating this dish in my mind’s eye. Throwing vegetables in my bag like a real farm-to-table free spirit who woke up like this. You should do the same, because with this sort of recipe not much could go wrong. I used a bunch of early summer vegetables (asparagus, fava beans, sugar snap peas) and piles of fresh dill and parsley. You can use any vegetables you like, and I mean that. I normally hate when recipes tell me that I can do whatever I like (but I want you to tell me what I like) but in this case it is true. Cook each vegetable in a way that leaves it with some crunch. For instance, I very briefly blanched the favas and the peas the day before and kept them in the fridge overnight (I’d do the same with all peas/beans). I charred the asparagus in a cast iron skillet (I would probably char peppers and zucchini too). Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and you are good to do. I prepared all of the vegetables the night before and kept them in the refrigerator so they were ready to go for lunch.

We served this with some marinated mozzarella and tomatoes and an eggplant puree. It was the perfect summer lunch.

Early Summer Tabbouleh (inspired by Morito) 1 cup of uncooked bulgur 1 garlic clove pinch of cinnamon 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning vegetables of your choice, I used: asparagus, fava beans, sugar snap peas, and scallions (see photo above for the amount of each) cooked, if needed, and chopped into bite-size pieces a large bunch parsley, chopped a large bunch dill, chopped a small bunch of mint, chopped

Prepare the bulgur: This usually involves pouring boiling water over the grain and letting it sit until the mixture is absorbed. Then, run a fork through the bulgur to fluff it, like you would couscous. (I use this bulgur from Bob’s Red Mill and you pour 1 cup of boiling water over the 1 cup of bulgur.)

Make the dressing: Put the garlic, cinnamon, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small jar and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

In a large bowl, combine the bulgur, vegetables, and chopped herbs and toss to combine them. Pour 3/4 of the prepared dressing over the salad, toss again, and taste for seasoning. You may need to add more dressing or salt. Serve at room temperature, or chilled. Serves 4-6.

Permalink to Tabbouleh | 25 comments so far


Broccolini, Blue Cheese and Bacon Frittata People see the outdoor markets in Paris and think that everyone does their shopping there. But if you work a 9-to-5 jobs, or whatever hours normal people work (ie: not me), it’s hard to take a few hours off to go leisurely pick out your fruits and vegetables – not including the time waiting in line behind madame, selecting theΒ two figs she is buying as if they were royal bijoux, trying to muster a chuckle at the same joke you’ve heard a gazillion times, when you ask to buyΒ “Five lemons,” and they respond – “5 kilos, monsieur?” – which was mildly amusing – perhaps once, but I’m pretty sure no one buys 11 pounds of lemons at the market. And catching up and chatting with my favoriteΒ vendors, as I like I do. Especially the sausage dude. #schwingIn spite of the time it takes to do your shopping, going to the outdoor market in Paris is something that’s very pleasurable for me. I take a good stroll around first, looking at everything before I make my decision. But I do have certain stallholdersΒ that I favor for certain things (including sausages), and I often tell visitors: ShopΒ at the same vendors and placesΒ over and over again, because once they recognize you, you’ll be treated better. Ditto for going to restaurants and cafΓ©s.One thing isn’t well-represented in Parisian markets are leafy cooking greens. Spinach and giant leaves of Swiss chard tend to be the predominate choices. When I was recentlyΒ in the states, even in nondescript supermarkets, I saw bunchesΒ of kale, mustard, turnip and beet greens, collards, chard, and spinach piled up high in the produce department.And in Brooklyn, due to the large Italian-American population, there’sΒ broccolini, too,Β a broccoli hybridΒ with less bulky stems, and lots more texture and flavor. I love it and even the dumpiestΒ pizza joint in Brooklyn wouldΒ often have a pizza with wilted broccolini on it. It was tempting to order, instead of my usual pepperoni slice. But I managed to find ways to get broccolini into my diet without sacrificing a single wedge of pie with those crisp disks of spicy sausage baked on top.Frittata is one of my favorite fall-back dishes. As long as you have bits and pieces of things in your refrigerator, and a carton of eggs, you can make a frittata. I had extra broccolini lurking in the produce drawer, a fewΒ chunksΒ of blue cheese, and someΒ of bacon which were the makings of this one. The hardest part of making a frittataΒ is working up the nerve the flip it out onto a plate or flat pan lid, like I did, and turning it back over to finish it off. (If using a cast iron skillet, you can run the partially cooked frittataΒ under the broiler, to firm up the top, and skip the flip.)Speaking of differences between Europe and the states, you want to cook the broccolini to what one might call β€œEuropean style.” Meaning that you really cook it until it’s soft and tender, for a frittata. Americans tend to cook vegetables to the point where they retain their crunch, whereas in places like Italy and France, vegetables often get cooked until they’re very soft. My friend Judy in Tuscany explains in her cooking classesΒ that Italians cook vegetables twice; once to cook them, and the second to flavor them. For a frittata, you want the vegetables to be about the same texture as the cooked eggs.You can use this recipe as more of a guideline if you want to swap out other ingredients, butΒ the basic technique is the same: Cook your ingredients, pour in some beaten eggs, then cook until the bottom is set. Once it’s three-quarters of the way there, flip it over to cook the other side.If you have a cast-iron skillet, instead of flipping the frittata, as mentioned, you can run it under the broiler to cook it. Once everything is chopped, the whole process should take more than ten to fifteen minutes, meaning you’ll have dinner on the table in no time. Or if you’ve got friends coming for drinks, you can clean out the refrigerator, and serve a frittata forth, like I did – and no one will be the wiser that it was put together with leftovers.Β (Well, until they read about it on your blog!) Broccolini, Bacon and Blue Cheese Frittata Print Recipe Six meal-sized servings, twelve appetizer-size servings Feel free to replace ingredients in the recipe, swapping out some cooked spinach or kale for the broccolini. Since broccolini may not be easy to find, you can use regular broccoli, cauliflower, or another lovely green, such as kale, dandelions, arugula or mustard greens. Broccolini goes by the name of tenderstem broccoli in the UK, I’m told. Broccoli raab is a close relative and could be used, as could rapini. (Check the links after the recipe if you want to learn more about them.) If you’re fortunate to live near a good farmers’ market, snoop around as you might be fortunate to find some green vegetables that lend themselves to being made into a frittata; the people who work the stands are usually very knowledgable about what they grow and how to prepare them.Generally, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cooked ingredients works for this size frittata. You can add pitted olives, sauteed mushrooms, or another herb, such as dill, oregano, marjoram, or basil. Vegetarians can skip the bacon, or for others, cooked and crumbled/sliced sausage can be used in its place. I didn’t add garlic, but a few chopped cloves added to the broccolini added while it’s cooking is an option, if you wish. Want to go with seafood? Cooked shrimp or smoked salmon would be nice, and feta could stand in for the blue cheese. Whew! I think I covered everything…Frittata is perfect picnic food because it’s just as good served cold or room temperature as it is warm. In Spain, they serve tortillas, as these are called (with potatoes) along with glasses of wine or sherry in tapas bars, as it makes a nice appetizer. I served these in wedges during meal-time, but sliced into bite-sized squares and toothpicks, they make great cocktail party fare. 3 strips (100g) bacon, preferably thick-cut, diced8 scallions trimmed and sliced, or 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced1/2 to 3/4 pound (225-340g) broccolini, diced, or broccoli or cauliflower1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil7 to 8 large eggs3/4 to 1 cup (100-130g) crumbled blue cheese1. Steam the diced broccolini in a steamer basket in a covered pot over barely boiling water, until tender all the way through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.2. Put the bacon cubes in a 9- or 10-inch (23-25cm) nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Heat the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Set the bacon pieces of a paper towel and drain and pour most of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon behind.3. Add the scallions (or onions) to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Add the steamed broccolini and thyme. Season very lightly with salt and pepper (other ingredients are salty, so go easy on the salt). Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook– stirring occasionally – until the broccolini is very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.4. Mix the eggs in a small bowl, seasoned with a little salt and pepper.5. Remove the lid from the pan with the broccolini in it and stir in the bacon. Use a spatula or spoon to make sure the ingredients are in a relatively even layer then strew the crumbled cheese over the top. Pour the eggs over the ingredients, then use a utensil to encourage the eggs to get in and around all the ingredients in the pan.6. Let the frittata cook over medium heat, undisturbed, until the bottom is browned and set. You can use a spatula to lift it up once the bottom is set to check on its progress. (Make sure it’s not burning!) It will take about 7 minutes, but might take a more or less.7. Run a spatula around the edge of the frittata to loosen it from the pan and slide it onto a dinner plate or overturned flat pan lid, so the cooked side is on the bottom. Overturn the skillet over the frittata and quickly flip the frittata back in the pan, so the cooked side is now on top. Cook the frittata another minute or two, until the bottom is cooked. (If using a cast iron skillet, instead of flipping the frittata, you can run it under the broiler a minute or two to cook the top.)8. Slide the frittata onto a serving plate and serve warm or at room temperature.Related Links and RecipesBroccolini vs Broccoli raab vs RapiniΒ (Good Stuff NW)Broccoli Raab, Rapini, Broccolini: What’s the Difference? (The Savory)Alice Waters’ Long-Cooked Broccoli (Serious Eats)Go soft on broccoli and cauliflower (Russ Parsons/LA Times)Green Nonstick CookwareKimchi OmeletKale Frittata You might also like Moroccan Preserved Lemons Mirabelle Jam Cherry Poppy Seed Cake Categories: Recipes Savory DishesTags: bacon blue cheese broccoli broccoli raab broccolini eggs greens kale omelet rapini recipe red onion salt scallions supermarket tenderstem


You mean to tell me that I get to walk into a grocery store these days and choose between soft ripe peaches, juicy strawberries, big-ol raspberries AND fresh corn on the cob!? It’s just too good. Everything is like candy. Candy that I can char over an open flame and smash into savory pancakes.

I might need someone to hold my hand and tell me everything is going to be alright when summer fades and Winter tubers are all we have to get excited about.

Spoiled. Consider me spoiled.

Now let’s make some cakes!

These corn cakes could be a simple side dish to somethings delicious as Tracy’s Sticky Balsamic Ribs, or they can be paired with a few fried eggs for breakfast.

They’re simple and versatile. I’d say, if you have salted butter to slather on the warm and freshly-fried cakes… you’re totally in business. You won’t really even need a plate or chair. Formalities.

Fresh corn is charred over an open flame. I’m fancy and used my gas stove. For some reason this process sets off my fire alarm. My neighbor must think I’m the weirdest. For more corn charring goodness, see: Charred Corn with Pistachio Cilantro Lime Rub.

The base of these cakes are corn flour and all-purpose flour.

Now… corn flour is different from cornmeal. It’s much more fine than traditional cornmeal. I found cornflour in the bulk bins at Whole Foods, but you can also finely grind cornmeal in a small spice grinder.

Buttermilk and sweet charred corn to add tang summer flavor to our cakes.

I’m aggressive with the salt and pepper because cornflour can be a flavor-suck. I think chili powder is a nice addition as well.

Thick batter for tender and thick cakes.

It’s time to heat the skillet with butter and oil. We’re pan frying. No apologies.

Fried until golden brown on each side.

Now would be the best time to grab the butter and the sour cream and an extra pinch of salt. Sure, we’re going to plate these with diced and colorful vegetables, but that shouldn’t keep us from eating a few hot out of the pan!

Warm with diced peppers, extra charred corn, thinly sliced radishes, and any other colorfully diced ingredient you can muster from the fridge. I like to add extra black pepper and a few good pinches of chili powder.

Delicious! Charred Fresh Corn Cakes 2015-07-27 23:33:20 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 15 min Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 15 min Ingredients 1 cup corn flour* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1 cup buttermilk 2 tablespoons honey 2 large eggs 2 ears of fresh corn, charred over an open flame and sliced from the cob butter and olive oil for cooking sour cream, sliced peppers, scallions, black pepper, chili powder, and radishes for serving. Instructions Whisk together the corn flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, milk and honey. Whisk in the eggs. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Add the corn and stir to incorporate. The batter will be thick but spoonable. Heat some butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, spoon batter in heaping 2-tablespoon mounds into the pan. Flatten with the back of a spoon if the batter is too rounded. Let the corn cakes cook until browned on the bottom and starting to bubble around the edges. Flip the corn cakes with a spatula and cook on the other side for about a minute, until lightly browned on the reverse side and cooked through. Remove from the pan. Slather with butter. Dollop with sour cream. Sprinkle with diced peppers, scallions, radishes and black pepper and chili powder. Notes *Corn flour is different from traditional cornmeal. It is much more fine. Corn flour can be found in bulk bins at many grocery stores, or can be make by grinding cornmeal until super fine in a spice grinder. By Joy the Baker Adapted from David Lebovitz and Alice Waters Adapted from David Lebovitz and Alice Waters Joy the Baker You Might Also Like:Charred Corn with Pistachio Cilantro Lime RubMalo’s Beef and Pickle TacosKitchen On The Move


Shrimp and Chive Potsticker DumplingsThis year seems to be a banner year for cookbooks and there are so many that I’ve leafed through andΒ bookmarked, that even though it’s early in the cookbook season, I feel like I already have the next twelve month’sΒ worth of great recipes to try on my docket.Β Lately I’ve been impressed by books that make cuisines that people might feel daunted about tackling, accessible. And even though the internet has made finding international ingredients easier, I’m drawn to books and recipes thatΒ don’t make you feel like an idiot if you don’t have colatura, or can’t find rascasse at your local fish market for your bouillabaisse. (Or don’t feel like wrestling with a live eel to make it.) Authenticity is nice to aspire to, but I’m also happy cooking something with ingredients that I can find locally.Bouillabaisse was a dish made by fishmongers in MarseillesΒ who used leftoverΒ scraps of fish, what they couldn’t sell, to make the soup. It was never intended to be a luxury dinner made with pricey imported seafood. So the esprit of the dish is to use what’s available in your locale. Ditto with cassoulet, which was a nourishing, peasant meal made with dried beans and bits of leftover and preserved meats. Using beans that cost $30 per pound somewhat negates the concept of cassoulet.Food changes and evolves, especially in America, a land of immigrants, where new combinations are tested when some ingredients aren’t available, and cooks and chefsΒ make changes based on the seasons and regions. In oneΒ excellent new cookbook I’ve been reading, Zahav, chef Michael Solomonov talks about how in the winter, rather than using bland tomatoes for tabbouleh, he uses persimmons. It is moreΒ authentic to make tabbouleh with tasteless, out-of-season tomatoes? Or to use something fresh, delicious, and available, which isΒ the spirit of the original dish? He argues for the latter, which makes sense to me.Most of us in America grew up with some form ofΒ “Americanized” versions of Chinese food. So the esprit of the dishes isn’t a strict adherence to a list of ingredients, but making do with whatever you have. That’s how Thai, Italian, and French food evolved, even in their own countries. And if you don’t believe me, ask our ItalianΒ neighbors in France whereΒ pistouΒ and macarons came from.Perhaps because I’m from America where immigrants brought most of our food from somewhere else, origins areΒ not something that I feel like is worth quibbling over, or rigidlyΒ defending authenticity, because it doesn’t seem to matter to me at this point. I just care that food is good, made with good intentions, and fresh. Michael Solomonov, Daniel Boulud,Β Eddie Huang, David Chang, Alice Waters,Β Dominique Ansel, and Yotam Ottolenghi have shown that foods steeped in long-standing traditions from certain countries cultures can be updated for today’s tastes, successfully usingΒ ingredients that are available in other parts of the world.That said, to be honest, I was a little skeptical when I got Lucky Peach PresentsΒ 101 Easy Asian Favorites, somewhat because of the “pop” design that is intended to look like a 1960’s American Chinese cookbook, the kind that had recipes for rumaki and pu pu platters, accompanied byΒ pictures ofΒ backyard tiki parties. I think all those things are fun, but I worked in an excellent, and – yup –Β authentic Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurant for a few years, and wasn’t sure I needed a book of recipes that are self-described as 100% inauthentic.But as I leafed through the book, I was completely won over by it. I liked how it makes Asian cooking fun andΒ accessible. Every recipe in the book would be easy for anyone to make. Sure, if you want to tackle the great dishes of China, you can find books that will help you do that. (And then spend a few days gathering all the ingredients.) But if you just want to make a batch of dumplings, and feel like a pro with a lot less effort, or roast off a batch of sticky ribs with fish sauce, this book will help you to do that. Cooking is supposed to be fun, and tackling a project like making homemade dumplingsΒ will make you feel like you’ve really accomplished something. I know, because I’ve done it.101 Easy Asian FavoritesΒ is a book thatΒ anyone could make any recipe from. That’s somethingΒ I want inΒ a cookbook. (Although there’s certainly room for all types of cookbooks, from ones that capture authentic foods and their fascinating lineage, to reference books that I use for understanding the technical aspects of cooking and baking.) But I find myself being less-drawn toΒ “aspirational” cookbooks that keep you at a distance from your kitchen, rather than cookbooks that are actually useful, and get you cooking. Or in the case of these dumplings – folding and pinching.Called potstickers in America (and Jiaozi in Chinese), these kinds of dumplings are said to be the result of a happy accident when someone was frying up a batch of dumplings and some water unintentionally got spilled into the pan they were cooking in. The dumplings “stuck” to the pan, giving them a crisp crust on the bottom. I love dumplings and they are one of the foods that I could eat for breakfast, lunch, and, dinner. And then as a midnight snack.These are very easy to make, with a short list of ingredients. It might take you a few tries to get the dumpling folds right, but once fried up and dipped in sauce, you’ll feel confidentΒ sitting down to a plate of steaming hot homemade dumplings, no matter when youΒ want to eat them. Adapted from Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes by Peter MeehanThe amount of dumplings you’ll get from this depends on how much filling you put in each. I started with a 1-pound (450g) package of dumpling wrappers which had 30 wrappers in it, and used a very generous 1 1/2 teaspoon of filling per dumpling. I ended up going out for more wrappers to use up the rest of the shrimp filling. You may get less but best to err on the side of having a few extra wrappers (which can be frozen for the next batch). You don’t want to overstuff the dumpling wrappers, but put the right amount in so you can close them without the filling oozing out. The first few may be clunky, until you get the right amount of filling for the wrappers that you have. By the second or third dumpling, you’ll be more confident.There’s a very good tutorial here on folding these kinds of dumplings. If you don’t want to fuss with them, the dumplings can be made by simply folding the round wonton wrappers over the filling, forming semi-circles, making sure to press as much air out of them as possible before sealing. I used garlic chives, which I bought in Chinatown, which lent a lovely emerald color and gave a sharper taste to the filling. Regular chives will work fine as well.If you would prefer to boil or steam the dumplings, you can do either: Steamed dumplings will take about 8 to 10 minutes to cook, boiled dumplings will take 3 to 4 minutes. If frozen, they’ll take at least twice as long, in my experience. In addition to the simple dipping sauce, I usually like to have a little hot sauce on hand, too, and serve a little chile paste or another Asian hot sauce with them.For the dumplings1 pound (450g) uncooked shelled shrimp fresh or frozen (if frozen, thawed)1 cup finely minced garlic chives or 2 bunches regular chives, minced1 tablespoon peeled, minced ginger1 large egg, lightly beaten1 tablespoon soy sauce1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or sherry1/2 teaspoon sesame oil1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper1/2 teaspoon saltTwo 1-pound (450g) packages of dumpling wrappersDipping Sauce3 tablespoons soy sauce1 teaspoon rice vinegar1 teaspoon sugar2 tablespoons water a few drops of sesame oil1. To make the dumplings, peel and chop the shrimp, either with a chef’s knife or pulsing them in a food processor. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the chopped shrimp with the chives, ginger, egg, soy sauce, Shaoxing, sesame oil, pepper, and salt. Cover and chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes.While the filling is resting, make the dipping sauce by stirring together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, water, and sesame oil until the sugar is dissolved.2. To stuff the dumplings, have a small glass of water with a brush ready. Dust a baking sheet lightly with corn starch. (I line the baking sheet with parchment as well for extra insurance.)3. Brush a circle of water around the outer rim of a dumpling wrapper with water. Place a generous teaspoon or so of filling in the middle, then fold the opposite edges of the dough over the filling, and pinch it together in the center. (As shown in the photo, in the post.) Working with your fingers, pleat the edges of the dough to enclose the filling, making sure to expel as much air as possible from the inside before closing them up, and making sure there are no gaps, so the dumplings are completely sealed shut.4. Place the dumpling flat side down on the corn starch dusted baking sheet, and fill the rest of the dumplings the same way.5. To cook, add enough neutral-flavored cooking oil in a skillet (one which has a cover) until it coats the bottom of the pan. You can use a non-stick skillet, a wok, or a cast iron one. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is hot and sizzling.6. Add enough dumplings to the pan, flat side down, cooking as many as will fit in the pan, but they should not be touching. (You will likely have to fry the dumplings in batches, depending on the size of your pan.) Fry for 1 minute, until the dumplings are browned on the bottom. Add ΒΌ cup (60ml) of water to the pan, then quickly cover. Let the dumplings cook until the dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes. To check for doneness, the dough should become translucent in all places.7. Remove the lid and cook until the water is boiled off and the dumplings are browned and crisp on the bottom.Serve the dumplings warm with dipping sauce and hot sauce, such as chili oil, if desired.Storage: The filling and the dumplings can be made one day in advance and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap or a tea towel. The uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a corn starch dusted baking sheet, then transferred to a zip-top plastic bag and kept for up to two months in the freezer.Related RecipesSui Mai DumplingsTricotin Dim SumΒ in ParisThai Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile JamThai Green CurryVietnamese Rice Noodle Salad    You might also like Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam Spritz Pickled Strawberry Preserves Categories: Recipes Savory DishesTags: 101 Easy Asian Recipes Alice Waters Asian Chinese chives Daniel Boulud Dominique Ansel dumplings esprit French Cuisine fun in the kitchen garlic chives ginger Italian Lucky Peach macaron Michael Solomonov Peter Meehan potstickers recipe soy sauce vinegar wonton wrapper Yotam Ottolenghi Zahav


I have been gazing at this particular stack of three books for at least a month now. I set them on the edge of my desk sometime in early October, thinking that they made a nice little collection, and then got lost in a hurry and busy of life. Read nothing into my delay, all three of these books are worthy contenders for your eyeballs and wish lists.

Alice Waters is a woman who needs no introduction. As the founder of Chez Panisse and the author of many, many cookbooks, her influence on our culture’s understanding of food has been vast.

My Pantry is her newest volume and is relatively slim in comparison to some of her earlier works. However, as someone who takes great pleasure from making my own pantry staples, I am entirely charmed by this book. It is a trip through Alice’s favorite homemade condiments, simple soups, preserved meats, sweet preserves, and simple cheeses. It’s like a peek into her fridge and cupboards, and there’s much here that I’ve bookmarked for future days of making.

I’ve never brewed beer. There are a couple things that have stopped me from trying my hand at it. First is the issue of storage (I’m already at capacity with my preserving habit). Second is the fact that my body hates it when I drink more than a few sips and tortures me with headaches if I venture beyond my paltry tolerance.

And yet, despite all that, thanks to Emma Christensen’s Brew Better Beer, I still want to give it a shot someday (I’ll just have to give most of it away, which should make me very popular with my neighbors). Her instructions are clear, the flavor combinations are hugely appealing, and I so appreciate the fact that the recipes are scaled so that you can brew your batches in either 1 or 5 gallons. If you have a burgeoning home brew enthusiast on your list this holiday season, you should get them this book.

In a sea of books devoted to making pantry staples from scratch, Miyoko Schinner’s Homemade Vegan Pantry, is unique for its plant-based approach. I know several vegans who have already come to depend on this volume for the nut-based cheeses.

However, don’t think you should skip this book if you take a more omnivorous approach to your diet. There is still plenty here for you. The soup concentrates (tomato! mushroom! cream of broccoli!) alone earn this book a spot on my shelf. The crackers are pretty special as well. And I’m really curious about the flax seed meringues!

Are there any cookbooks that you guys have been enjoying lately?

Related Posts: Books: Stir, The World on a Plate, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and Orchard House Four Cookbooks I’ve Been Enjoying This Summer Cookbooks: Real Sweet


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... Ratatouille and I have a troubled past. I love the stuff, but hate the time and effort required to make classic versions of the dish. Until recently, I used Julia Child's recipe and while it makes a wonderful ratatouille, its assembly calls for separate browning of all the ingredients and that, quite frankly, is a bother. As it happened, I needed a vegan addition to my French-themed Christmas Eve menu. While ratatouille was a seamless fit, I had neither the time nor space for Julia's version, so I decided to give Alice Waters' take on the dish a try. Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Nice. The dish was first made to use the abundance of vegetables that were available at the end of summer. The vegetables were tossed and cooked in the heady olive oil of the region and eventually a formula of sorts codified preparation of the dish. Interestingly, the word ratatouille actually comes from the French term "touiller," which means to toss food. These days, the vegetables are available year round and serving ratatouille is no longer dependent on the season. It makes a great side dish, and when served with rice or polenta it becomes a terrific meatless entree. Alice Waters' version does not require separate browning of the vegetables and it comes together quite easily. If you have not already done so, I hope you will give this lighter, fresher version of the dish a try. The basil gives the dish a uniquely fresh flavor that I know you will enjoy. Here, thanks to Food52, is how her version of the stew is made. Alice Waters' Ratatouille ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food52 Ingredients: 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped 1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped Pinch of dried chili flakes 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice 3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice Salt to taste Directions: 1) Toss eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes. 2) Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat eggplant dry, add to pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside. 3) In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. 4) Add garlic, basil bouquet, dried chili flakes, and a bit more salt. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes. 5) Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold. Serves 6 to 8. Older Posts One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today: Irish Coffee Cheesecake Squares Menu for Week of 1-5-2014 Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today: SNAP Chicken Noodle Casserole Rum-Raisin Tea Biscuits


Most people post this kind of cookbook round-up at the end of December or at the very beginning of January. Makes a whole lot of sense doing it then, too. It’s a nice way to recall a year’s worth of books and set the slate clean for the new year. Sadly, I didn’t get to it at the end of December, or even the beginning of January. I could have given up, but I really wanted to revisit these titles. So hear we are. A 2015 list at the start of February. Better than not at all.

Before I get to the books, I want to take a moment to talk about a trend I’m seeing. It used to be that a preserving book was just a preserving book. But as canning and fermenting begin to play a larger and larger role in our culture, I’m seeing a number of books out there that aren’t preserving books, but do contain a strong thread of jamming, pickling, or from-scratch condiment making. So much so that I struggled a little with the books to include in this stack. So consider this an imperfect, slightly subjective collection.

The Canning Kitchen – Written by Canadian blogger Amy Bronee, this lovely little book contains both classic preserves and really nice twists on traditional recipes. The chutney section is particularly inspired.

My Pantry – Alice Waters petite compendium of her favorite extracts, chutneys, whole grain items, sweet preserves, dairy items, and simple cured meats. I have her Salt-Preserved Kumquats on my to-do list for this month.

Preserving – Originally published in France in 1948 under the title, Je Sais Faire les Conserves (I Know How to Make Preserves), by famed French food author Ginette Mathiot. The book has been updated and translated by author and food blogger Clothilde Dusoulier and has plenty to offer a new generation.

Brew Better Beer – I’ve never brewed beer, but this book by Emma Christensen make me want to. Easy-to-follow recipes, gorgeous photography, and lots of useful advice, this is such a useful book for people looking to explore this hobby.

The Homemade Vegan Pantry – A plant-based approach to building a from-scratch pantry by Miyoko Schinner. If you were intrigued by my soup base last week, this volume has even more to offer with easy concentrates for tomato, mushroom, and cream of broccoli.

DIY Canning – This is one of those strange author-less books we’ve been seeing lately and some of the recipes are eerily similar to those that I and other authors have published over the years. Despite that, the soups and stews section towards the back of the book is useful and worthy.

Wild Drinks and Cocktails – This book is Emily Han’s love letter to crafting infusions, syrups, squashes, and tonics out of foraged plants and pantry ingredients. I adore her Classic Switchel.

The Hands-On Home – This epic volume by Erica Strauss is far more than just a canning book. It’s a seasonal guide to home care, cooking, gardening, and preserving. It’s the perfect volume for the minimalist DIY-er.

Ferment Your Vegetables – Fermented foods have never been more accessible than in this book by Phickle blogger Amanda Fiefer. The small batch section is ideal for apartment dwellers such as myself!

Food Gift Love – As we all know, giving the gift of food is one of the best ways to make someone feel welcomed, comforted, or appreciated. Maggie Battista captured that sense of giving with this book and it’s many recipes for preserves, baked goods, flavored salts, and more.

Preservation Society Home Preserves – Written by Preservation Society founder and head preserver Camilla Wynne, this book pushes well beyond the traditional array of flavor combinations and offers recipes that are unconventional and endlessly appealing.

Preserving the Japanese Way – Written by Nancy Singleton Hachisu, a native Californian who married a Japanese farmer, this hefty book is gorgeous and comprehensive. In it, Nancy shares the traditional making and preserving skills that she’s garnered over 25 years of living in rural Japan. It’s a book that I plan to spend years exploring.

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars – This approachable book by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque bursts with delicious words, recipes, and images. The book is organized by season, and is then broken down further by the special activities that time of year contains. Lots of preserves in this one, along with other staples of a family kitchen.

New German Cooking – Penned by Jeremy and Jessica Nolen, the husband and wife team behind the Philadelphia restaurant Brauhaus Schmidt, this book is on this list for it’s practical collection of pickles, breads, condiments, and spreads. I’ve been meaning to make its beer mustard for ages now.

So that’s the list for 2015 (let me know if I forgot any!). Just for comparison’s sake, here’s the 2014 edition of this post. It’s interested to see the differences.

Related Posts: Pre-Order Naturally Sweet Food in Jars Cookbooks: Food Gift Love by Maggie Battista Cookbooks: The Hands On Home & Ferment Your Vegetables


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