There May Still Be Time — Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Our farmer’s market still had great Roma tomatoes last weekend.  So I picked some up.  Ten pounds.  And I turned them into something magical – something that will last for a while and remind us of the authentic tastes of summer.  And you can have that taste without much trouble at all.  The tomatoes get halved, tossed with some olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. That’s it.  Let them hang out for a long while in a slow oven and they’ll be ready to put up.

These are great chopped as a main ingredient for bruschetta.  Use them roughly cut in a simple pasta with sliced olives.  Toss them in salads.  Lot’s of options here.  When they’re cool, I just put the tomatoes in jars and store them in the refrigerator.  They’ll keep about three months, although I can’t see them lasting that long.  Ten pounds of tomatoes were enough for eight pint jars.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

8 – 10 pounds Roma Tomatoes

Olive Oil

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh herbs (I use thyme and rosemary)

Preheat oven to 200°.  Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise.  In batches, toss the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. Place in one layer on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment.  Repeat with remaining tomatoes.  Top tomatoes with sliced garlic.  Place in oven and roast for 8 hours.  Tomatoes will be shriveled but still moist and a bit juicy.  Allow tomatoes to cool.  Place in jars and top with more olive oil.

$19.99

T-fal Titanium Advanced Cookware Fry Pan

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Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

I know, another cinnamon roll recipe.  Whatever.  It’s been 8 months since I’ve indulged.  Back then, I thought that  I had found the perfect cinnamon roll.  I was wrong.  Not terribly wrong since I can still get excited about the other recipe.  But these are different.  So you be the judge.

Spreading cream cheese into the layers of yeasty dough enhances the richness of these beauties and also ensures perfect moistness.  I like any bread recipe that gives me the option of preparing a day in advance.  Otherwise, I’d need to be up at 2:00 a.m. to get these on the breakfast table.  So you can certainly let them rise in the refrigerator overnight with no compromise in quality whatsoever.

I think my friend Murray will appreciate what I’ve done for her here!

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from Saveur – just slightly because I’m not a big fan of walnuts

Yield:  8 Cinnamon Rolls

FOR THE DOUGH:

1 package 2 1⁄4 – ounces active dry yeast

½ teaspoon plus ¼ cup sugar

½ cup milk, at room temperature

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 ¾ cups flour, sifted, plus more for kneading

¾ teaspoon fine salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

FOR THE FILLING:

½ cup sugar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup finely chopped pecans

¼ cup raisins

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon fine salt

pinch ground cloves

2 tablespoons maple syrup

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE ICING:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup buttermilk

Vremi 3 Piece Plastic Measuring Cups Set - BPA Free Liquid Nesting Stackable Measuring Cups with Spout and Decorative Red Blue and Green Handles - includes 1, 2 and 4 Cup with Ml and Oz Measurement

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Make the dough:  In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a hook, combine yeast, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the sugar, and 1⁄4 cup water heated to 115°.  Stir to combine and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.  Add remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.  Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, 1 minute.  Turn mixer off and add the flour and salt.  Mix on medium speed until the dough just comes together.  Turn mixer speed to high and knead dough for 4 minutes.  Add the butter and continue kneading until dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 6 minutes.  Remove bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place.  Let the dough rise for 1 1⁄2 – 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling:  Combine the sugar, dark brown sugar, pecans, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl; stir to combine. Stir in the maple syrup.  Set filling aside.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. Gently knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary, about 1 minute.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10″ x 10″ square.  In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with a rubber spatula until it’s smooth and spreadable.  Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square; then fold square into thirds as you would fold a letter to fit it into an envelope.  Take the open ends of the resulting rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square.  Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll into a 10″ x 20″ rectangle.

Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you.  Brush the top of the dough with half of the melted butter.  Drizzle the reserved filling over the dough, leaving a 1″ border at the edge farthest away from you.  Lightly press the filling into the dough.  Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder.  Place dough cylinder, seam side down, on a cutting board and, using a thin, sharp knife, trim off the ends; cut cylinder crosswise into 8 equal-size slices.  Nestle the slices, cut sides up and evenly spaced from one another, into a buttered 9″ x 13″ light-colored metal baking pan.  Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 2 hours.  Alternatively, the rolls may be refrigerated overnight.

Heat oven to 375°.  Uncover the rolls.  If refrigerated, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the rolls comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Make the icing:  While the rolls are baking, whisk together the sugar and buttermilk in a small bowl until smooth.

Transfer the pan of cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack; brush with remaining melted butter.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Dip the tines of a fork into the icing and drizzle all over the rolls.  Serve immediately.

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Pistachio Financiers

Have you missed me?  I’ve been otherwise occupied with a trip to Asia and a move.  We’ve sold our home and are downsizing.  Lots going on.  But let’s get to something good.

First stop in Paris is always Ladurée – for the macarons, of course.  But they have something else that I always buy for myself.

Financiers are French tea cakes.  With one bite, you’ll experience the profound taste of butter and toasted almonds.  Dorie Greenspan in her book Paris Sweets tells us that Financiers were first made in the late 19th century by a pastry chef whose shop was close to the Paris Stock Exchange.  The location of his shop must have influenced him as originally Financiers were baked in rectangular molds that were said to resemble bars of gold.  Today you’ll find them in a variety of shapes, even mini muffin pans.

Several years ago, after a visit to Paris and several stops for Financiers, I decided to buy the mold.  They aren’t easy to find here in the states, but Google finally helped me out and I ordered a terrific silicone mold that turns our perfect little golden bars.  But don’t pass these up because you don’t have the original molds.  Small tartlet tins work well and are readily available.

Some weeks ago, my friend Stacy posted her recipe for Financiers.  Got me thinking about how long it had been since I’d had any.  So when I was asked to bring something sweet to “pick up” after a dinner, these filled the bill.

Pistachio Financiers

Adapted from a recipe by Patricia Wells

Yield:  About 21 cakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for buttering financier molds

1 cup finely ground almonds

7.4 ounces confectioner’s sugar (about 1 2/3 cups, if you don’t have a scale)

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 pinch salt

¾ cup egg whites, at room temperature

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

21 whole pistachio nuts

Preheat the oven to 450°.  With a pastry brush, use the 2 tablespoons melted butter to thoroughly butter the financier molds.  Arrange them side by side, but not touching, on a baking sheet.  Place the baking sheet with the buttered molds in the freezer to resolidify the butter and make the financiers easier to unmold.

In a large bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, flour, and salt.  Mix to blend.  Add the egg whites and mix until thoroughly blended.  Add the ¾ cup butter and mix until thoroughly blended.  The mixture will be fairly thin and pourable.  Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them almost to the rim.  Top each with one of the pistachio nuts.   Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven.  Bake until the financiers just begin to rise, about 7 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 400°.  Bake until the financiers are a light, delicate brown and begin to firm up, about another 7 minutes.  Turn off the oven heat and let the financiers rest in the oven until firm, about another 7 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the financiers cool in the molds for 10 minutes.  Unmold.  The financiers may be stored in an airtight container for several days.

NUTS U.S.

NUTS U.S. – California Pistachios

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Buffalo Chicken Bites

Guess what?  Another snack.  It’s only right with the NCAA basketball  tournament set to go.  You’re going to need something really good for the remainder of the month – right up to the time that the Kansas Jayhawks win the whole shebang.  I know those words are likely to cause a debate.  Bring it on!

Seriously, these are seriously good.  Word to the wise, they are very rich, even if you substitute reduced fat cream cheese and cheddar (which I did).  It’s difficult for me to admit that something might be too rich.  Anyway, I made the mistake of making these a little larger than I should.  My eyes are always bigger than my stomach, although some might suggest that that statement is yet another debate.

For the next several weeks, I’ll make them smaller.  That way I can eat more of them?

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Yield:  24 bites

1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken breast

¼ cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s and I use more)

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ cup green onions, finely chopped

¼ cup celery, finely chopped

½ cup flour

freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon paprika

2 eggs, beaten lightly

2 cups corn flakes cereal, crushed

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, cheddar cheese, green onions, and celery.

Knife set

Cuisinart C77WTR-15P Classic Forged Triple Rivet, 15 Piece Set, White

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Roll mixture into 1 – inch balls and place onto a plate.

Put flour into a shallow dish.  Add the pepper and paprika and mix to combine.

Put lightly beaten eggs into another shallow bowl.  In yet another shallow dish, add the crushed corn flakes cereal.  You’re going to start breading the bites.

Dip each chicken ball into the flour mixture.  Then dip the ball into the egg and finally roll each ball in the crushed corn flakes.  Place each ball on the prepared sheet pan, about an inch apart.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.  Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

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Easy Sticky Buns

I like to play with yeast.  It’s magical and it tests my patience.  Patience is something that doesn’t come all that easy to me at times.   So yeast has its specific place within my biorythmic cycles.

But I digress into the depths of psychobabble and pseudoscience.  Stick with me here.

Somtimes you need quick and easy without much compromise or challenge to patience.  These sticky buns are just the thing.  Start with frozen puff pastry (a.k.a. good of the gods).  Remember to thaw the pastry or you’ll get all twisted.  You’re going to need some a lot of butter to go with the brown sugar, toasted pecans, and raisins.  How can all that stuff be bad?

Answer:  it can’t be and that these are so easy – well, it’s like extra credit.

Easy Sticky Buns

Recipe:  Ina Garten

Yield:  12 pastries

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

½ cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces

1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

For the filling:

tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup raisins

Light Brown Sugar

Light Brown Sugar (1 Gallon) Made With Cane Molasses

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Preheat the oven to 400°.  Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups.  Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface.  Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right.  Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter.  Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons of the cinnamon, and ½ cup of the raisins.  Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.

Trim the ends of the roll about ½ inch and discard.  Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, about 1 ½ inches wide.  Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups.  Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper.  Ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon.  Cool completely.

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Brilliant Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread

My new favorite cookbook is from Virginia Willis.  Virginia is a gift.  She is a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, so she knows a thing or plenty about French cooking.  But she has never denied her Southern roots – and aren’t we happy about that.  And it comes as no surprise – to me at least – that she is a friend of Nathalie Dupree.  Nathalie is yet another favorite of mine.   Pick up a copy of Basic To Brilliant, Y’All, 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company.  You won’t be disappointed.  While you’re at it, pick up her Bon Appétit, Y’All.  It’s just as superb.

This is the “brilliant” version of the basic Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread.  If you’re not feeling particularly brilliant, simply omit the pecans.  Not that I’d ever do that, just sayin’.  Take a break from cheese straws or anything you might buy at the grocery store.  These are worth the effort.  Crack open a bottle of wine, champagne, or your favorite sip and nibble on these for the perfect snack.

Brilliant Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread

Recipe:  Virginia Willis – Basic To Brilliant, Y’All

Makes about 4 dozen

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Pinch of cayenne, or more to taste (I added quite a bit)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, at room temperature, grated

2 cups chopped pecans

48 perfect pecan halves

Position the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Butter two baking sheets or line them with silicone baking liners or parchment paper.

Combine the flour, black pepper, salt, and cayenne in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse to combine.  Add the butter and cheese and process until smooth.  Cover the work bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 15 minutes.

Food Processor

Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper for Slicing, Shredding, Mincing, and Puree, 10 Cups - Bowl Scraper, Stainless Steel

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Transfer the dough to a clean surface.  To shape the dough, work it in your hands; it should be soft and pliable (like Play-Doh).  Shape the dough into two equal cylinders and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Roll the edges of each cylinder in 1 cup chopped pecans to coat.  Then, working with one cylinder at a time, using a utility knife, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Top each slice with a perfect pecan half.  Bake the shortbreads, rotating the baking sheets once, until lightly browned on the edges, about 20 minutes.  Remove the baking sheets to a rack to cool slightly.  Using an offset or slotted spatula, remove the individual shortbreads to  a rack to cool completely.

Making Ahead Store the savory shortbread at room temperature in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper.  They will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

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Almond Macarons with Lemon Curd Filling

Do you set goals?  I live with goals and objectives regularly at work.  And I suppose I’ve always had personal goals, those far removed from the professional realm.  You know, eat healthier foods, lose weight, be a better person, etc.  Sometimes goals are achieved, other times they are set aside to bring about a bit of guilt now and then for the abandonment.

Many years ago, I experienced cookie epiphany while in Paris.  Anne and I ducked into Ladurée on Rue Royale, not far from the Louvre.  Macarons!  The hundreds of pastel morsels in the window seemed to call to us.  So we purchased une mélange – an assortment – because there was no way we were going to decide among just a few flavors.  And we were hooked.  I believe we visited the shop several times that trip and it has always been a first stop anytime we’re in Paris.  Now macarons seem to be everywhere.  And Ladurée recently opened a shop in New York City.

So I set a goal.  I would master the cookie that has a formidable reputation.  I settled on Dorie Greenspan’s recipe.  It’s based on a recipe from “Macaron” by the master, Pierre Hermé.  Did I succeed?  Let me put it this way.  Most were a little chubbier than what I would consider normal.  That’s easily remedied next time.  I’ll just wet my fingers and smooth them out.  There were a few that were cracked.  But mostly, the flavor was what I remembered and the “feet” were well-defined.

The combination of almond and lemon is terrific.  For the next go, I have my eye on a peppermint version where the edges are trimmed with crushed candy canes.  Perfect for the holidays.  I’m still looking for a savory version that appeals.  I imagine a hint of rosemary or tarragon.

Stand Mixer

Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer, 4 Quarts, Dough Hook, Flat Beater Attachments, Splash Guard 7 Speeds with Whisk, Black with Top Handle

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Basic Parisian Macarons

Recipe:  Dorie Greenspan

Yield:  About 30 cookies

½ cup (3 – 4 large) egg whites, at room temperature, divided

Food coloring (optional)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

1 ½ cups blanched almond meal or almond flour (5.3 ounces)

5.3 ounces powdered sugar

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 jar purchased lemon curd

 

Pour half the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer.  If you’re using food coloring and/or vanilla, stir them into the other half of the whites in a bowl.   Push the almond flour and powdered sugar through a strainer into a large bowl and whisk to blend.

Bring the granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, washing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.  Increase the heat to high, insert a candy thermometer and boil, undisturbed, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees.

Meanwhile, beat the whites in the mixer witht the whisk attachment at low to medium speed until foamy, then increase the speed and continue until they hold medium-firm peaks.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly pour in the syrup, being careful to avoid hitting the whisk attachment.  Beat the meringue on high until peaks are firm, about 2 minutes, then set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.

Pour the unbeaten egg whites over the almond – sugar mixture and top with the meringue.  Fold everything together, then stir the batter briskly until it falls off the spatual in a slow, moderately thick band.  If you want more coloring, add it now.

Spoon half the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a half-inch round tip and, keeping the bag vertical and 1 to 2 inches above the sheet, pipe rounds about 1 ½” in diameter and 2 inches apart onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Alternatively, you can use a Silpat liner as I did.

Refill the bag and pipe out a second sheet.  Set the sheets aside in a cool, dry place, allowing the rounds to rest until you can gently touch the top of the mounds without having any of the batter stick to your finger.

Meanwhile, center a rack in the oven and heat the oven to 350°.  Place one of the baking sheets on top of a spare baking sheet and slide the double pan setup into the oven.

Bake the macarons for 4 minutes, then quickly open and close the oven.  Bake them another 4 minutes and open and close the oven again.  Continue to bake the macarons until the tops are rounded and firm and a craggy ridge, the foot, has formed around the base, about 4 minutes (check the macarons after a couple of minutes, as the baking time will vary by oven).

Slide the parchment off the hot baking pan and onto a counter and set aside until the macarons are cool.

Repeat with the second sheet of macarons.

Peel the cooled macarons off the paper and match them up for sandwiching.

Pipe a generous amount of purchased lemon curd (about 1 teaspoon) on one half of the macarons and top with their mates.  Pack the sandwiched cookies in a container and refrigerate for 24 hours (or up to 4 days) before serving.  Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  The almond meal or flour should be finely ground.  If a bit coarse, process the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor for a finer texture before running through a strainer of sifter.  Additionally, if the almond meal feels a bit moist, spread it out on a lined baking sheet and place in a 325° oven to dry out, about 3 to 5 minutes.

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Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Jam

When I first saw this recipe, I knew it would be a winner.  And it is.  Apologies to Giada, however, because you know I put red pepper flakes or chili powder in just about anything.  But it really works here.  Leave the hot stuff out if you like, but……..  I’m just sayin’.

I used the jam to create some quick bites.  I spread it on some garlic-rubbed crostini and then topped it all with some garlic-herb boursin and a bit of chopped fresh thyme.  If you’re inclined to get real fancy, you might want to pipe the boursin on top so it looks real pretty.  Whatever.

Let your imagination run wild.  Smear some of this on a grilled chicken sandwich or burger.   Grilled fish?  It’s a great spread on a panini.  Or, my favorite – a perfect complement for southern ham biscuits.

Make a couple of jars of this to keep on hand during the busy holiday season.

Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Jam

Adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Yield:  About 1 ¼ cups

1 jar (8 ounces) sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped, oil reserved

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ medium sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 cup water

½ cup chicken broth

1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pans Set

GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick 16 Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set, PFAS-Free, Dishwasher Safe, Turquoise

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Place a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, olive oil, onion, and garlic.  Stir and cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown at the edges, about 5 – 7 minutes.  Add the sugar, vinegar, water, chicken broth, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue simmering until most of the liquid is reduced and the mixture is the consistency of jam, about 15 minutes or so more.  When the mixture is the consistency you like, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

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Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts

Before you say ick, just hear me out.  And trust me.  I love Brussels sprouts.  It doesn’t matter how they’re prepared.  At our house, I’m in the minority.  And I’ve spent years trying to convince my family that they are delicious.  I’ve even gone so far as to offer Molly’s friend Emily ten dollars to try one.  She did.  I paid.  And I will wager another ten that not a single BS has passed her lips since.  Too bad for her.

But wait.  I’m persistent.  And I believe I might just have the breakthrough preparation.  I made these.  Anne ate them.  She ate more than just the obligatory “one.”

And why wouldn’t she?  Sauté these in some bacon fat with garlic.  Simmer in chicken stock.  Top them with panko and cheese and bake until they’re golden brown and crispy.  I think you’re still with me, right?

I took Tyler Florence’s recipe and adapted it slightly.  The result, I think, is amazing and good enough to convert the most hard core dissident.

Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts

Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence

Serves 6

6 ounces bacon, cut into small squares

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed, plus 2 cloves, roughly chopped

4 sprigs thyme, plus 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only, chopped

2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°.
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Pans Set

GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick 16 Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set, PFAS-Free, Dishwasher Safe, Turquoise

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Take a large pan and set over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until fat renders 2 to 3 minutes. Add the smashed garlic clove, thyme sprigs and Brussels sprouts and cook gently until slightly caramelized. Add stock and reduce heat to a simmer. Add red pepper flakes. Season with salt and a little pepper, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until tender. Remove lid and add a splash of vinegar and reduce until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.

 

After Brussels sprouts are done cooking, stir in Gruyère and put them in oven safe dish. In sheet tray and toss bread crumbs with rosemary, thyme leaves and chopped garlic, then drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture and Parmigiano over Brussels sprouts and bake in a hot oven until golden and crispy.

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Grilled Vegetables with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

I’ve been grill deprived for several weeks.  It’s on the moving van along with my smoker.  Don’t think I want to experience another summer without the essentials.  I did get an opportunity to grill some vegetables just before they took the grill from me.  Grilled vegetables?  Well everyone does them, especially when the bounty is great at this time of year.  But it’s nice to jazz them up a bit and the addtion of a lemon-herb vinaigrette does just that.

Nobody in this house like eggplant.  So this is my opportunity to throw in a few slices along with the usual suspects.  Whatever you have on hand.  Don’t limit yourself to what I’ve listed below.  Add some broccoli, asparagus, carrots – go wild.  Well, as wild as you can get with vegetables.

But really, the tang of the mustard and the vinegar with the garlic, basil, and lemon does something special here.  And I’ve been known to toss in some red pepper flakes now and then.  You knew I’d say that.

 

Grilled Vegetables with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 large red onion, peeled and cut crosswise in to four ½” thick rounds

2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise into ¾” thick planks

2 medium yellow squash, ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise into ¾” planks

1 eggplant, sliced about ½” thick

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Grill pan

All-Clad pan E7954064 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Dishwaher Safe PFOA Free Square Grill Cookware, 11-Inch, Black

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Lay eggplant slices on paper towels, salt liberally and allow to sit for about 20 minutes or so to extract as much liquid as possible.  Thread onion rounds, from side to side, onto metal skewers or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 mintues. Brush onion, eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini evenly with ¼ cup olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, mustard, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt together in bowl; set aside.

Grill vegetables over medium heat, turning once, until tender and caramelized, 18 to 22 minutes (move vegetables as needed to ensure even cooking). Transfer vegetables to platter and remove skewers from onion slices.  Rewhisk the vinaigrette and pour over vegetables.  Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.

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