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Apple and Honey Madeleines

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These small, feather-light French sponge cakes, believed to have originated in the town of Commercy in Lorraine, were made famous by Marcel Proust, who sang their praises in his novel Remembrance of Things Past. Madeleines are delicious dipped in coffee or tea.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at
  •  room temperature, plus more for brushing
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 cup (140 g) apple puree
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Directions:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the 6 Tbs. (3⁄4 stick) butter until it starts to brown and gives off a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside to cool.
Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour and baking powder; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high speed until pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and honey and beat until thick, about 5 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, then apple puree and melted butter and beat until well blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Chill the batter for 2 hours.

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Preheat an oven to 375ºF. Butter madeleine mold and place on a baking sheet.
Whisk the batter briefly. Fill each prepared well three-fourths full of batter. Bake until the madeleines are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Immediately invert the mold onto a wire rack and remove the madeleines, using a toothpick to gently loosen them, if needed. Let the mold and the baking sheet cool completely, then repeat with more butter, flour and the remaining batter.
Makes about 24 madeleines.

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7 Comments

Breaded Fish Fillets with Carottes Étuvées au Beurre (Carrots Braised in Butter) and September Beauties from the Garden

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Now that the summer has come to a close, the fall has come upon us. Although the summer is gone, one can still see flowers in brightly lit colors of the fall. I took my camera and decided to take a walk around my gardens. I saw nature's great fall presence or September Beauties, as I like to call them. I wanted to photograph them before the ground begins to harden. Once it does, we say, "Until we meet again next spring!".

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I don't know the names of the flowers in the pictures I have taken, but there were so many vibrant colors that spoke to me--I simply couldn't resist posting them up.

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Although it's hard to say goodbye to nature's summer blossoms, it is always an experience to embrace the promise of the fall's beauty.

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Carottes braisées au beurre are a classic French side dish. The natural sweetness of the carrots, accentuated with a pinch of sugar, goes perfectly with breaded fish fillets or roasted meats.
from The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child

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Ingredients for breaded fish fillets:

  • 4 fish fillets (tilapia or basa fish)
  • 3-4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • About 100g fine, fresh breadcrumbs ,
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper or hot smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon very finely chopped parsley
  • Grapeseed oil for frying
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for braised carrots:
  •  1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and quartered
  •  1 T sugar (to develop the flavor), you can substitute brown sugar or honey for the white sugar
  •  1 1/2 c water
  •  1 1/2 T butter
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  pinch of pepper
  • parsley or thyme for garnish
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Instructions for breaded fish fillets:
Put the flour on a plate and season it well. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish. Put the breadcrumbs on another plate and season them with a little salt and a pinch of cayenne or paprika, or the parsley leaves, if you like.
Working with one fillet at a time coat the whole fish with the flour and shake off excess flour. Then dip the fillet in the eggs cover all sides and lift to drain any excess. Lastly place it in the breadcrumb mixture, cover all sides and shake to remove extra.
Heat frying pan with oil. Add the fillets and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes until golden/brown. When cooked place fillets on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any oil and serve immediatly.
Garnish with slices of lemon.

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Instructions for braised carrots with butter:
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the carrots and enough water just to cover them. Add the sugar, butter, salt and pepper bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the carrots are cooked through and the water has almost evaporated out.
Toss the carrots with the additional butter, add some herbs, adjust seasoning and serve.

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12 Comments

Apple And Raisin Cupcakes with Yogurt and Melon

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Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups self rising flour                  
  • scant 2/3 cup unsalted butter, chopped                  
  • 3/4 cup soft brown sugar                  
  • 1 cup raisin, plus extra to garnish                  
  • 1/2 cup apple puree                  
  • 3 eggs

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Cupcake Topping: 
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 melon

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Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

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Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Combine the raisins and apple puree with butter mixture. Pour into the well in the flour, along with the egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

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Divide the mixture evenly among the paper liners. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into center of a cake. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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To make the yogurt topping, combine the yogurt and sugar. Spread tablespoon of topping over each cake and put a piece of melon on top.

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10 Comments

Sautéed Eggplant with Garlic and Fried egg on the top and Strawberry Ice-water.

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Eggplant, garlic, mushrooms, peas and onions are the primary ingredients of this easy side dish. Combine them with olive oil and herbs for a wonderful saute and serve with any type of meat or just like that with fried egg on the top.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 medium (about 1½ pounds), firm and shiny, ends trimmed, cut into ¾-inch chunks1 sm. onion, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1  fried egg

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Direction:

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, and saute the eggplants  with onions and mushrooms for about 10 minutes, stir often, until vegetables are browned and soft.

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Add peas and simmer for 5- 10 more minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, salt and pepper to the pan and stir. Let it simmer with the eggplants for about a minute or two.

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To serve, top with parsley and fried egg.

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10 Comments

Cream of Roasted Beet Soup with Pears and Ginger

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs beets (roast, then peel and chop to put in the stock)
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 Bosc or French Butter pears, (cut out the fibrous sections connecting the stems to the cores, then trim off the stems, using a melon baler, scoop out the cores)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbs, fresh ginger
  • Salt and pepper
As topping: 1/2 cup sour cream, lightly whipped with wasabi and chopped fresh thyme

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets. Cut beets into 1/2-inch pieces.

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Melt butter with oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, and celery and cook until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 13 minutes. Stir in ginger, pears, pepper, and 1/2-inch beet pieces. Cook until vegetables begin to stick to bottom of pot, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add stock, bay leaf, thyme sprig. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.  Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender with cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Gently rewarm soup (do not boil). Divide between bowls.
Garnish each with sour cream. Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme.

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2 Comments

26th Annual Mushroom Festival
in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania,
the Mushroom Capital of the World,
and Harvest Pumpkin Mushroom Soup Recipe

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Recently I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the mushroom capital of the world, located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is within an hour’s drive from our house.  With our luck, it was holding its 26th annual mushroom festival this past weekend. Armed with my camera, I was ready to document on this joyous event.

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The festival stretched more than half-mile and featured culinary events, growing exhibits, farm tours, children’s entertainment, and nearly 200 vendors with attendance calculated at 100,000 guests.

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Mushroom cultivation in the United States first began in Kennett Square (of course!) in 1896 when two local florists wanted to make more efficient use of their greenhouses by utilizing the area underneath the shelves used to grow ornamental plants. This set-up was less than ideal, however, with improvements in technology over many years, and many generations later, the cultivation of mushrooms in the United States is greater than ever.

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The second thing you notice (after the mushrooms, of course) is a lot of people with chilled stainless steel mugs, and happy faces. That was old fashioned soda, buy-a-mug-drink-soda-whole-day-free deal.

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We saw a lot of original folk merchandise, like those cups full of mini pumpkins and mushroom glasses.

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The culmination of the day was the Mushroom soup contest.

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Here is a spy photocopy of the secret recipe of a soup.

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Here are some of the contestants, which all smelled sooo goood...

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A dinner with the family at the Newton's on State Street glazed this weekend’s trip. It’s a rare treat in our days to find good quality homemade food in a restaurant. Beer Battered Fried Mushrooms with a Horseradish Cream Sauce was just right break for some quiet family time from the crowded street.

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6 Comments

Warm Apple Drink with Herbs & Spices

Apple Cider

Delicious sweet and spicy apple drink to warm you up this fall.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Add: herbs & spices of your choosing

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Directions:
In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, apples cinnamon, nutmeg, herbs and spices of your choosing and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the sugar is dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender about 20 minutes.

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Remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

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Serve as a warm drink with some breakfast items, such as toast, French toast, waffles, pancakes, or as an afternoon tea with pound cakes.
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2 Comments

Autumn Apple Mint Jelly

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This jelly makes a great glaze on meats or pastries as well.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds apples
  •  4-5 cups of water
  •  3 cups sugar
  •  juice of one lemon
  •  fresh mint
  •  Add: herbs & spices of your choosing
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Preparation:

Roughly chop the apples and place in pan. There is no need to peel and core. Cover with water (I used a little over 1 litre) and add spices. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
Pour into a scalded jelly bag suspended over a large bowl. Leave to strain for a minimum of 2 hours or over night. Don’t be tempted to prod or squeeze the jelly bag to get more juice out as this will make the jelly cloudy.
Measure 4 Cups of juice into heavy stock pan and slowly bring up heat to simmer.Add 3 Cups of sugar (3/4 C sugar for each cup of juice).Add lemon juice and simmer.

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Stir in the mint.You can use your favorite spices to taste (rosemary, cinnamon stick, allspice berries & whole cloves). Continue to simmer until your reach 22o degrees for the jelly set.If no thermometer, try the spoon test when you have to wait until the jelly mixture hangs on the spoon (when turned sideways) before dripping off, thickening as it cools.
Pour into warm, sterlised jars, cover and seal. The jelly will keep for up to a year unopened, stored in a cool, dark place but once opened needs to be kept in the fridge and used within 3 weeks.


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1 comments

My photo is featured on Gourmet Live

Dear Friends!

I'm excited to share with you that Gourmet Live featured my picture and recipe of Turkey Meatballs and Borscht in Weekly Roundup: Hearty fall favorites.

I am so happy!

And thank you for your support and warm comments which keep me going!

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