Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shortcake Biscuits

This is my mother's recipe for shortcake biscuits. Heap split biscuits with whatever sort of fruit you prefer and top with sweetened whipped cream. Small shortcakes with fruit are a great dessert, but larger ones make a fantastic breakfast. Strawberry shortcake is no sweeter than pancakes or waffles with syrup and makes for a happy morning surprise.

Shortcake biscuits
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter in cubes
3/4 cup milk
Place dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended. Add butter and pulse. Add milk and pulse until dough just comes together in clumps. Drop the dough on a greased baking sheet or a Silpat sheet on a baking sheet in 6 to 9 biscuits, patting a bit to flatten. If you are making the shortcakes for dessert make them smaller, if for breakfast they can be larger. Bake in a 425º oven for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Split the biscuits and serve with lightly sweetened fruit and sweetened whipped cream.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pan Seared Round Bone Lamb Shoulder Chops

These lamb chops are inexpensive and cook quickly. We had them this evening with a savory bread pudding. That made for a very good combination. Delicious! Makes 4 servings.

Round Bone Lamb Shoulder Chops
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp herbes de Provence
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 round bone lamb shoulder chops
Smash the garlic with the side of a French chef knife and smear it on a cutting board with the salt until you have a paste. Mix the salt and garlic paste with the herbes de Provence and the olive oil. Pat the lamb chops dry with a paper towel and then rub the paste all over them. If you have the time, let the chops sit for an hour with the paste on them. They are still very tasty if you don't have the time to do that. 
Heat a cast iron frying pan large enough to hold the chops over medium-high heat. Sear on one side until browned, about 2 minutes, and then flip and sear on the other side for about another minute. Slash the edges in a couple of places to keep flat. Lower the heat to medium and cook until medium rare, about 5 minutes. Cut to check for doneness. That's it. Fast, easy, and very good. Do not overcook or they will be tough.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rösti with Fried Eggs

Chris saw this recipe in the February Bon Appetit magazine and he fixed it for our dinner one night. It was very good and we decided to add it to the blog so that we wouldn't forget to make it again. It is great for a simple dinner for 4.

Rösti with Fried Eggs  
3 russet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs)
kosher salt
6 Tbsp. unslated butter, divided
freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. raclette or Gruyère cheese, sliced (we used Gruyère)
4 large eggs
chopped flat-leaf parsley
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil: reduce heat and simmer until the tip of a paring knife slides easily about 1/2" into the potatoes, 8-10 mins. Drain potatoes and let cool. Chill until firm, about 2 hrs.
Preheat oven to 300º. Peel potatoes and grate using the large holes of a box grater. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a 12 ovenproof skillet over med-low heat. Add Potatoes, season with salt and pepper, press gently to compact. Cook, occasionally shaking pan to loosen, until bottom is golden brown and crisp, 15-20 mis.
Slide rösti onto a plate. Carefully invert skillet over plate and flip to return it to the pan, browned side up. Dot 1 Tbsp. butter around edge, allowing it to melt around and under rösti. Season with salt and pepper and cook until second side is golden and center is tender, 10-15 mins. longer.
Top rösti with cheese and bake until cheese melts, 5-8 mins.
Melt remaining 1 Tbsp butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add eggs, cooking until whites are just set, about 4 mins.
Cut rösti into quarter, top with eggs, and garnish with parsley.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Kale

This was inspired by a Thomas Keller recipe in his Ad Hoc at Home, "farro and black rice with roasted autumn squash". I have made his recipe as written a few times and it is delicious. This evening I wanted something similar but simpler for a family dinner. I served it with chicken grilled on the bbq. It would be great with sausages and could easily be adjusted for vegetarians.

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Kale
1 cup farro, cooked according to package directions
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large bunch lacinato kale, stems stripped off and cut into ribbons
diced shallots
olive oil
salt (sel gris and kosher)
vinaigrette salad dressing (made with champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper)
Toss the squash and onion with some olive oil and sel gris and roast at 425º until squash is easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Turn the oven up to 440º and continue to roast until the squash is lightly browned. Sauté the shallots in a large frying pan for 2 or 3 minutes in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the kale, sprinkle with some kosher salt, and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted.
Toss the farro with vinaigrette. Be conservative with the vinaigrette. You can always add more later. Add the squash and kale to the farro, mix, and you are done. You now have something that is not only very tasty, it is good for you. This serves 4 adults.