Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Do not be afraid of butter, it won't help. Butter is your friend. It likes you. You like it. Why fight it? My mothers Linzer Torte is awesome. There are 3 sticks of butter in it... and its the only thing I can bake. I have a hard time following a recipe and I hear baking is science so... if you make a substitution you better know what you are doing or you might blow something up. Anyway this is one recipe that doesn't care what you forget. As long as the butter sugar and flour are in there you're pretty good. In the end I forgot half the ingredients, messed up the dough, and yes I made substitutions but the result was WINNING>
3 stick butter room temperature
1 1/2 cups powedred sugar
1 1/2 cups of ground hazelnut (buy whole grind yourself)
3 cups unbleached all purpouse flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
14 ounces of raspberry jam with seeds ( I like Bonne Maman Preserves)
10" tart pan with a removable bottom
rolling pin (ghetto version is a jar or glass but dont let it get warm from your hands!)
food processor is nice but if you don't have one use a pastry cutter or two knives.
In your food processor put butter and sugar and blend until creamy. It should look like this.
Then beat in the egg and add the ground hazel nuts and flour a little at a time - about a 1/4 cup or so of each - and add the salt.
Once you have mixed it all up divide the dough into two sections and flatten each ball between wax paper, place on a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. You can also make this the night before and leave in the fridge all night.
In small mixing bowl add raspberry jam, juice of lemon, and zest of 1 lemon and mix until
Even though my mother uses two 7" tart pans (hey if you got em go for it) I stick with one 10" tart pan.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out into two circles a little larger than 10” in diameter. Slide one rolled out section of dough over to the tart pan and work up the sides of the tart tin. Pour in the jam mixture.
Take the other section of dough and slice into 1/2"-3/4" slices like this.
Layout the strips of dough to create the first layer of lattice work. Then lay out the second layer in the other direction. You can see mine is not exact and a bit of a mess. Don't worry it all tastes the same! If you have a hard time with the lattice work. put the sliced dough back in the fridge to chill before trying to lay it out.
Once your criss crosses are done put the tart in the fridge for 30 mins to chill the dough again. I like to put my tart on cookie sheet lined with tinfoil - this keeps the bubbling jam off your oven and your pan. so less cleaning. Bake for 45 mins golden brown and jam is bubbling.
Let it cool on a rack if you have one. Once cool remove the tart tin and place on a cake plate
Then dust with powdered sugar using a sifter!! This one traveled while hot so it did sink a little but still retained its beauty. My mother always said. Nothing a little powdered sugar wont fix! Its true the powdered sugar will hide any mistakes in the dough.
Gain 500lbs with each slice! Just kidding!!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
I didnt have a million dollars to spend.. but I had to lighten the dark kitchen in our new apartment. You cant always get what you want. I wanted: new countertops, new backsplash, new fridge, new stove and was desperate to rip out the drop ceiling. But I just couldn't afford it. So I came up with a solution that ran me around $1200.00 and offered a dramatic change. Spray lacquer the cabinets! This really picked up my spirits.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I was THRILLED when I heard that the former managers and staff from Bonita had banded together to open Cariño on South 4th Street. They were the heart and soul of that place and have taken all the LOVE and bundled it into one killin mexican joint - Cariño! I have been there a few times since they opened and I have to say... it is... as good if not better than Bonita was! The tastes are much more traditional the sauces much more tangy the bacon on the huevos rancheros is crazy thick cut and crispy fried.. And if you go there for a birthday party they will be happy to embarrass your friend with some loud music and a good round of happy birthday!! What could be better than that!!! The old staff and managers are warmer and more inviting than ever and the service is attentive and real. They Care. It Rocks. A new spot in my weekly rotation! See how happy I am!?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Inspired by something a friend mentioned.... did you see that article in the new york times on asparagus pesto? No. I hadn't. But I did have a ton of basil in my fridge that needed using. So. I busted out the cuisinart and got busy. Basil. Pine nuts raw garlic salt unfiltered olive oil and some pecorino. That was what I had intended. What I didn't intend to do was use too much olive oil and salt! So in an attempt to salvage my pesto. and without anymore basil or pine nuts.. I rummaged through the fridge and found walnuts! why not. So in they went. but it was not enough... I remembered the mention of asparagus pesto. and had just bought some farm fresh asparagus! I broke off the woody ends and threw the raw asparagus into the cuisinart until they mellowed out the salt/olive oil overload. a little lemon juice.. And it was.... SALMMIN'. an interesting taste. freshie. nice. nutty. In went the crackers and a dip was born! Today I spread it all over sourdough and melted gouda on the other side. Tomato. and we have lift off!!! check out the asparagus pesto recipe in the times - its not this -but looks awesome. Better yet make up your own! Have no fear. The great thing about pesto is you blend and taste and blend and taste till you get something great!!!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Today I opened my spice cabinet to an explosion of spices salts condiments and bouillon. I couldn't take it anymore. Time to get organized!! Its great to have all your spices organized when you cook so that you can see what you have and know where it is. In theory you should clean out your spice and herb storage at least once a year. Spices and herbs become stale and loose potency when kept too long. Whole spices retain more of their oils than ground spices so whole spices are generally good for a few years while ground spices only retain peak flavor for a year. It is easy to tell if your spices are still good by smelling and tasting them. If the flavor or smell is weak. Toss em. The first time i did this I found a jar of Cayenne that i had brought with me when I moved to NY from CA over 10 years ago!! it was about as spicy and aromatic as flour! You do want to keep dried herbs and spices away from heat and light and store them in airtight containers. If you have any unusual, hard to get, expensive herbs or spices consider storing them in the fridge - they will keep twice as long. My husband brought me a spice mixture called "head of the shop" from a spice market in Morocco - this is something that is unusual and hard to get so- Fridge!! Bulk herbs and spices that come in plastic baggies end up scattered all over the cabinet and create a mess. I washed out the old stale spice jars and reused them for my bulk herbs and spices. Bye bye plastic baggies. hello order. Once I separated the good from the bad and made sure everything was stored correctly... I bought this awesome Copco adjustable cabinet organizer - it has three tiers and allows you to actually see the things in the back of the cabinet!! You can use this in any cabinet and expand it across the width. It works great for your canned and dried things as well. Here it is below available at BBB. They also have a few versions at the container store. Its rad. Do it.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
it was a beautiful day. Arthur MacDonald my contributing editor (aka the decorating mustache) came over for a nice walk about. He rode his bicycle over the williamsburg bridge with a lemon cake and a box of powdered sugar in the front basket. We had recently done some electrical at my house hanging a light fixture and planned to brunch with our girl Bloody Mary at his favorite 50's diner Relish. We had a nice stroll up bedford avenue perusing the street vendors wondering if Haight St and Telegraph Ave had followed us east.. Arthur bought me a sweet murano glass paperweight for 2$!! We then took it to brunch with us at Relish...