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Friday, October 27, 2006

Pears in Red Wine

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Pear in Red Wine
Originally uploaded by Lynnylu.

This recipe is a conglomerate of several different recipes that I have seen, but the basics are the same-pears poached in wine, red or wine, with a fruit juice added along with some spices such as star anise used here and vanilla beans.

6 medium pears,( not too ripe or they will be too soft when done), peeled with stems left on.
3/4 bottle, (750 ml. ) zinfandel -drink the rest
1 cup pear nectar
1 vanilla bean
1 star anise
2 cups sugar

Bring wine, pear nectar and an equal amount of cold water to a simmer. Add sugar, star anise, and vanilla bean, split lengthwise. Add pears to liquid and simmer about 20 minutes until just tender. Turn off heat and let cool in liquid. Remove pears and boil liquid until reduced by half. The syrup wil be thickend somewhat.

When serving pears whole, cut out core and pour syrup over. Cored whole pears can also be stuffed.

Serves 6

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fudgy Brownies

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Three Fudgy Brownies
Originally uploaded by Lynnylu.

Recipe From Gourmet's Casual Entertaining Cookbook

Shortbread Base

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Process all ingredients in a food processor until mixture begins to form small lumps. Sprinkle into a 13-by 9-by 2-inch baking pan and press evenly onto bottom with a metal spatula. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 20 minutes.

Fudgy Brownie Bars

Hot shortbread base (recipe above)

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
2 sticks ( 1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Prepare topping while shortbread bakes:

Melt chocolate with butter in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add eggs, beating with a fork until incorporated, then stir in flour and salt.

Pour chocolate topping over hot shortbread and spread evenly. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 bars.

Makes 24 bars and will keep, covered , 5 days at room temperature.

There are substitutes for the bittersweet chocolate, but it's easier just to buy the chocolate. I used Ghiardelli bittersweet chocolate. This is a very rich brownie.

Photo by Lynnylu-Canon 5D 50 mm lens, natural light with reflector.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pear Still Life and a Recipe For Pear and Dried Cranberry Crisp

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Pear & Knife
Originally uploaded by Lynnylu.



The pears were beautiful in the market today which inspired me to photograph this one pear on a slate tile with a knife bought many years ago as a picnic knife.

Pear and Dried Cranberry Crisp


Recipe adapted from www. Epicurious.com which used dried tart cherries. I have also used a combination of apples and pears with good results.

Topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup pecans, ground in processor
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Custard
2 large eggs
1 cup crème fraîche
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Filling
3 1/2 pounds firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (about 8 cups)
1 cup dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup baker's sugar (superfine sugar) or regular sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

French vanilla ice cream

For topping:
Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Add melted butter and vanilla extract; stir with fork until soft crumbly dough forms. (Can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.)

For custard:
Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Whisk in crème fraîche and vanilla. Sift in flour; whisk until smooth. (Can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill; rewhisk before using.)

For filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch oval ceramic or glass baking dish. Combine pears, cranberries, and lemon juice in large bowl; toss to blend. Mix flour, sugar, and lemon peel in small bowl. Add to pear mixture and toss to blend. Transfer pear mixture to prepared dish, pressing slightly with rubber spatula to form even layer. (Can be made up to 1 hour ahead; let stand at room temperature.)

Pour custard evenly over pear mixture. Using fingertips, crumble topping evenly over. Bake until pears are tender and topping is deep golden, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream.

Makes 8 servings.
Bon Appétit
Time For Dessert
March 2006
Diane Rossen Worthington

PearDessert
Originally uploaded by Lynnylu.

Canon 5D, 50 mm macro, also Canon

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Carnival Squash Soup

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Carnival Squash Soup
Originally uploaded by Lynnylu.

Ingredients

2 medium size Carnival Squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup sliced onion
3-4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Cut tops off of squash and scoop out seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in oven about 45 minutes. When cool, scoop out flesh. Reserve. Saute onion in olive oil and add squash flesh and chicken broth. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree with hand immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Add butter to smooth out soup. Stir in cream if desired. Top with parmesan cheese and fried sage leaves.

Fried sage leaves.

Heat 2 inches of oil in pan. Fry sage leaves for about 20 seconds or until translucent. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.

Serves 2-4

Photo by Lynnylu. Canon 5D, 50 mm macro, also Canon.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Carnival Squash

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Baked Carnival Squash
Originally uploaded by Lynnylu.

1 carnival squash, halved and seeded
1 tbs. soft butter
3 tbs. brown sugar
1/4 cup of maple or Karo syrup or honey

Bake squash cut side down, adding a ¼ inch of water to dish and baking at 400º for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Scoop out and add butter and brown sugar to taste, then mash. Combine 1 tbs. soft butter, 3 tbs. brown sugar, and ¼ cup of syrup. Drizzle mixed ingredients over squash and bake for an additional 20 at 350º.

Microwave Directions: Cook squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish. Add ¼ inch of water and cook on high for approximately 10-15 minutes or until tender. Scoop out and add butter and brown sugar to taste, then mash. Combine 1 tbs. soft butter, 3 tbs. brown sugar, and ¼ cup of syrup. Drizzle mixed ingredients over squash and heat to serve.

Photo by Lynnylu taken with a Canon 5D, 50 mm lens and digitally enhanced with Photoshop CS2.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Photo For Banner

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Definition of a True Cook

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"The true cook...is the perfect blend, the only perfect blend, of artist and philosopher. He knows his worth; he holds in his palm the happiness of mankind, the welfare of generations yet unborn."

Norman Douglas, British writer(1868-1952)

Photo By Lynnylu

Monday, October 02, 2006

Carrot Soup With Fried Ginger Garnish

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Carrot Soup With Fried Ginger Garnish
Originally uploaded by Lynnylu.

This very tasty soup redolent of orange zest and ginger makes a great winter soup.

Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger

Recipe From Williams-Sonoma "Soup" Cookbook

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, including tender part, thinly sliced
6 carrots, about 1 lb.(500 grams) total weight, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red potato, about 1/2 lb (250 grams)peeled and coarsely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock or prepared broth
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp grated orange zest
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add leeks and saute until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, potato,and ginger and saute until the vegetables are just softened, about 5 minutes longer.

Add the stock, cover partially, and simmer until the vegetables are completely softened-about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Puree with a handheld blender, leaving some texture. Return to heat and add orange juice and zest. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle soup in warm bowls and garnish with fried ginger.
Makes 4-6 servings

Fried Ginger Garnish

Peel a 5 inch piece of ginger and slice it into very fine julienne. Pour oil in a small frying pan to the depth of 1/2 inch and heat to medium high. When oil is hot, fry ginger until crisp and golden brown, about 20-30 seconds. Remove from heat with a skimmer and drain on paper towels. When cool, divide into 4-6 portions and garnish soup.

Photo by Lynnylu

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