~ Rose of Sharon
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
- Shave chocolate and put shavings into food processor bowl. Process in 2 batches until very fine. Set aside.
- Combine sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Simmer sugar syrup until it reaches 238-degrees. If edges turn gold, you have cooked it too long.
- In the meantime, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Pour in hot sugar syrup and continue beating at high speed for 8 minutes until bowl and mixture are cool and meringue is thick and shiny.
- Gently fold meringue into white chocolate.
- Whip heavy cream and fold into meringue. Divide into 2 bowls, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Serve 2 scoops on a sauce of pureed strawberries. To make sauce, puree 1 quart strawberries in food processor and put through mesh strainer.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
~ Enjoying God's beautiful day
- Steep the tea bags in boiling water for ten minutes. Discard tea bags.
- Pour juice over tea. Add lemon and/or orange slices and fresh mint sprigs. Refrigerate until well chilled.
- Remove lemon and/or orange slices and mint before serving.
- Pour over crushed ice adding additional fresh fruit slices and sprig of fresh mint. ( 2 quarts)
DILLY CUCUMBER SANDWICHES
~ What memories are made of
Favorite loaf of soft sandwich bread (white or wheat)
1-2 peeled and thinly sliced English cucumbers
thinly sliced sweet onion (optional)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tsp. dried dill weed
coarse salt & cracked pepper
- Place cucumber in colander and sprinkle cucumber with a bit of salt. Let rest.
- Trim crust from bread slices. Slather each slice with soft butter.
- Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and dill. Spread over butter on bread.
- Wipe cucumbers dry and layer on one side of bread. Sprinkle with a bit of salt & pepper. Top with onion, if desired. Sprinkle with additional dill weed. Top with bread slice.
- Cut diagonally and then again to make triangles or in fingers. Wrap and refrigerate before serving.
LEMON THYME COOKIES
~ A treasured Michigan recipe from Woodland Herb Farm
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 organic eggs
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. dried lemon thyme
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well.
- Sift together flour, cream of tartar and salt.
- Work flour mixture into other mixture until well blended. Stir in lemon zest and thyme. Chill overnight.
- Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes. (About 3 1/2 dozen)
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
~ John Updike
Sunday, August 05, 2007
SIMPLE SUNDAY NIGHT SUMMER SUPPER (A Taste of Provence) ~ GRILLED SKIRT STEAK with ANCHOVY-OLIVE BUTTER / OVEN ROASTED RATATOUILLE
~ Delicious bistro-style steak known as 'onglet' adapted from
PEDALING THROUGH PROVENCE COOKBOOK
2 lbs. skirt steak (or flank steak)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. herbs de Provence
1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
8 Tbsp. room temperature unsalted butter
8 drained and coarsely chopped anchovy fillets
1/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped imported black olives
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme blossoms (in bloom) or finely chopped leaves
- Prepare grill.
- Place steak on platter and rub on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly on both sides with herbes of Provence, rosemary, salt & pepper. Let stand 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare anchovy-olive butter. Place butter in small bowl. Add anchovies and mash with fork. Blend in olives and thyme.
- Grill steak roughly 3-4 minutes per side for fare to medium-rare. Divide steak into four servings and top immediately with generous dollop of anchovy-olive butter. (4 servings)
OVEN ROASTED RATATOUILLE
~ A simple taste of Provence
1 minced clove garlic
3 large thinly sliced onions
4 seeded and quartered assorted colored roasted* peppers
(green, red, orange & yellow)
1 medium 1/4-inch sliced eggplant (Japanese preferable)
2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
3 small 1/4-inch sliced zucchini
2 small 1/4-inch sliced yellow squash
5-6 garden fresh sliced fat Roma tomatoes
coarse salt & coarsely cracked pepper
additional extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil
- * In 450-degree oven, roast pepper halves on foil-lined sheet, cut side down, about 15 minutes or until skin loosens. Cool slightly, peel and chop. Set aside.
- Sprinkle salt over zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant. Let rest for 30 minutes and squeeze out excess water.
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in flameproof casserole or large oven-proof skillet. Saute garlic, being careful not to burn. Add onions and cook until translucent. Lift and set aside.
- Layer following vegetables alternately back into casserole or large skillet until all vegetable have been used. Salt & pepper each layer.
- First, sauteed onions & garlic, then roasted peppers, eggplant, sliced garlic, zucchini and yellow squash, and sliced tomatoes. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and slivered basil.
- Roast lightly covered with foil at 350-degrees for 1 hour or until paring knife tests tender. Let juices rest at least 5 minutes before serving. (Even more delicious eaten the next day).
Note: For the 'authentic' version of REMY'S RATATOUILLE
(Thomas Keller's CONFIT BYALDI)
featured in the delightful Disney movie, RATATOUILLE, visit:
Saturday, August 04, 2007
'LAZY, CRAZY, HAZY DAYS of SUMMER' BRUNCH ~ STRAWBERRY and CUCUMBER BISQUE / LEMONY TOSSED CHICKEN SALAD / 'NOT YOUR ORDINARY' BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
- Combine strawberries, apple juice, and cucumber in saucepan. Cook 5 minutes to blend.
- Transfer to blender and puree. Add 2 cups creme fraiche and Cassis. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate.
- Serve in large stemmed glasses with powdered sugar dusted mint. (6 servings).
- Whisk juice and zest of lemons, olive oil, mint, parsley, garlic, and pepper.
- Combine chicken, tomatoes, peppers, onion, avocado, and olives. Toss with dressing and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Arrange salad greens on chilled plates. Top with chilled chicken mixture. Garnish with feta cheese. (6 servings)
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
- In large bowl, combine flower, wheat germ, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add blueberries and stir to coat. Add buttermilk and butter. Stir until just mixed.
- Spoon batter into greased muffin pans. Bake 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans for 2 minutes.
Friday, August 03, 2007
FRIDAY NIGHT FISH FEAST ~ PAN FRIED SMALLMOUTH BASS FILLETS / REDSKINS SMOTHERED in SWEET BUTTER & SOUR CREAM
- Rinse cleaned fillets well and pat dry. Place in glass dish.
- Combine buttermilk and cayenne. Pour over fish. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Combine Drake's crispy fry mix, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
- Heat oil and butter in large skillet, preferably cast iron.
- Lift bass from buttermilk and dredge in fry mix, shaking off excess. Drop into hot oil and butter and fry on each side until golden brown. Remove and keep warm.
- Add lemon juice and herbs to skillet, adding more butter if needed. Heat and serve over bass.
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
- Quarter scrubbed redskins and carefully add to pot. Cook until potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain and return to pan. Shake to evaporate moisture. Add butter and gently mix. Add salt & pepper, sour cream and fresh herbs.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
- Combine lemonade concentrate, fresh lemon juice, zest, soy sauce, celery seed, garlic and fresh pepper.
- Marinate chicken in large plastic bag or large container for several hours in refrigerator, turning often.
- Let rest at room temperature while grill fires up. Remove chicken and grill over medium coals for 30 minutes, basting with sauce the final 30 minutes.
- Combine cabbage, carrots, red pepper, onion, black olives, basil and fresh pepper.
- Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss. (8 servings)
FROZEN 'CREAMSICLE' CAKE
~ Refreshing summer dessert adapted from
'The Ultimate Grilling Issue' Gourmet (June 2002)
16 finely ground shortbread cookies (eg. Lorna Doone)
2 tsp. finely grated fresh orange zest
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 heaping cup slightly softened orange sorbet or sherbet
1 heaping cup slightly softened good vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
finely julienned fresh orange zest for garnish
fresh mint leaves
- Line a 3-1/2 x 7-1/2 (3-1/2 cup) loaf pan with double layer of plastic wrap, allowing a few inches to overhang.
- Melt butter and let cool. Combine cookie crumbs, zest, butter and corn syrup in small bowl. Press mixture into bottom of of pan.
- Spread sorbet or sherbet over crumb crust and freeze 30 minutes.
- Spread softened ice cream or yogurt evenly over first layer of sorbet (sherbet). Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Using excess wrap on sides of pan, lift frozen cake and peel off plastic. Garnish with orange zest and mint leaves. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into 4 slices.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
HER body is not so white as
anemone petals nor so smooth--nor
so remote a thing. It is a field
of the wild carrot taking
the field by force; the grass
does not raise above it.
Here is no question of whiteness,
white as can be, with a purple mole
at the center of each flower.
Each flower is a hand's span
of her whiteness. Wherever
his hand has lain there is
a tiny purple blossom under his touch
to which the fibres of her being
stem one by one, each to its end,
until the whole field is a
white desire, empty, a single stem,
a cluster, flower by flower,
a pious wish to whiteness gone over--
~ William Carlos Williams