Thursday, September 27, 2012

Raspberry Maple French Toast

I'm lucky enough to have raspberry bushes that produce just as much fruit in the fall as they do in the late spring, and an arsenal of recipes to make sure none of them go to waste.  This is one of my favorites.

Raspberry Maple French Toast
French Toast
8 slices of day-old challah, 1/2 inch thick
4-5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbs cinnamon

Heat a skillet, griddle or frying pan over medium heat.  Lightly beat eggs, milk, and cinnamon in a shallow dish.  Add a single layer of bread and then flip the bread to coat the other side.  Let it sit in the egg for a minute to soak.
Add a pat of butter or a non-stick spray to the pan and put in a single layer of bread.  Cook 3 minutes on one side until lightly browned and flip.  Cook 3 more minutes until lightly browned and remove to a warm oven until ready to serve.  Repeat with the remainder of your bread. 

a pint of raspberries
2 cups of maple syrup
4 Tbs/ 1/2 stick of butter

Add the butter to a pan over high heat. Once melted, add raspberries and cook until berries start to break apart.  Add syrup and cook until heated through.  Poor syrup into a gravy boat or small pitcher (I use a pyrex measuring cup with a spout).

Serve warm over the french toast (or pancakes).

Serves 4-6

*You can use frozen berries with this recipe
*You can also substitute blueberries, blackberries, or even strawberries
*Day-old bread is not necessary, but it makes it that much better
*You can also strain the syrup if you're adverse to pulp or seeds

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pan Roasted Cabbage

I love a cabbage, garlic and cumin combo, so I came up with this recipe one night when I had a random head of leftover cabbage.  After everything is said and done, this dish will cost you about $2 to make, and feeds about 6 people very hefty side servings.  Goes great with chicken, steak, and pork.  It's a little sweet, a teeny bit sour, and perfect for a fall evening.
First thing to know about cabbage is how to cut it. Remove any leaves from the outside that look wilted, damaged, brown, mushy, or otherwise unappealing.  Cut it in half from the core and then cut a little triangle around the core to remove it.  Cabbage can be a tough little ball of leaves, so be careful.  You can also use a food processor to shred the cabbage after removing the core, but I find it to be too much clean-up.

Then, cut the cabbage in about 1/8 inch (smaller if you can manage) slices.  I cut those in half.  The smaller you can make the slices, the quicker it will cook and caramelize.
Pan Roasted Cabbage
1 medium head of green cabbage
2 tablespoons of oil (I used olive)
3 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Mince the garlic and add to a large skillet with the oil, cumin and a bit of salt over medium heat.  Once the cumin aroma starts to come out, add the cabbage, stir to combine and cover for 10 minutes or until the cabbage has softened.  Stir again, add the honey and vinegar, and cook uncovered for another 2-3 minutes.  Cabbage should just start to brown.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6-8.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ale to the Chief: White House Beer Recipes

We might not all be destined to be the Commander in Chief, but now we can drink like him!

After a few weeks of online petitioning, bloggers demanding, and homebrewers drunkenly whining, our fearless leader and his even more fearless chef and brewing partner released the recipes for their White House Beers.  And apparently they are amateur bee-keepers as well...

And being that this weekend in the Philadelphia Honey Festival, it makes the release of this recipe very timely.

Here's the link to the recipes, and bit more on the background, and an interview of the big O talking brewing

I'm planning to do the Honey Porter first...SO EXCITED!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Linguini and hot sausage in a fried sage cream sauce

When I first read about this in a NYTimes column early this week, it sounded gross.  I mean, fried sage?  In a cream sauce?  And then you have hot sausage?  Nothing about this seemed like it would make sense, but I have a sage bush(?) in my garden (that I can't seem to kill and I barely even use the stuff) and those food writers at the Times haven't steered me wrong yet, so I went for it.

This is a modified recipe, as I didn't use theirs and frankly don't remember or care to spend the time finding the link.  I made it for two, and we had two large servings, with just barely enough left over to not save it for a lunch the next day.

1/2 lb of Linguini (not fresh)
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 lb of hot italian sausage in the casing
2 Tbs Fresh sage chopped finely (or use little leaves)
1 small shallot, sliced thinly
Olive oil

Start your pasta water boiling, and a large skillet on medium/medium high with a drop of olive oil. 

Cut the sausage into 1/8" slices (think bite-sized).  When the pan is hot, add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes or until both sides are browned.  Remove sausage from pan and set aside.

If you have a fair amount of oils left in the pan, just add the sage and saute until it turns to a dark green, scraping up any bits that may have been left in the bottom of the pan along the way.  You may want to add a small amount of oil if you didn't have a fatty sausage, but be light-handed with the oil.

When the water is boiling, salt it and add the pasta.  Cook to package directions.  Before you drain your pasta, be sure to save a mug of pasta water.

Once the sage is a bit crunchy and the desired shade of dark green, add your thinly sliced shallot.  You can also substitute a bit of onion and minced garlic, but I liked the sweetness of the shallot and think garlic would have been a bit much with the sausage.  Saute until it becomes translucent and starts to brown.

Turn off the heat, and slowly add the cream, about 1/4 cup at a time.  Stir to incorporate, making sure that the cream isn't curdling.  Once you've added the cream, turn the heat back on to medium.  Add the sausage back in as well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the cream sauce to simmer and thicken to your desired consistency--I'd recommend just a bit thicker than the cream started out.

Add the drained pasta to the sauce skillet and toss to combine.  If you'd like a looser sauce, add the reserved pasta water (less than 1/4 cup at a time) until you get your desired texture.

Serve and enjoy!