Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Black and White Wednesday #89-The Gallery

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Below are some very fine black and white culinary images photographed by talented blogger and non-bloggers dedicated to their craft. Next week, Priya of The Humpty-Dumpty Kitchen will host BWW #90. Be sure and view the superb culinary images from Screevali of Ammaji Recipes. Those wishing to  join in this event, read Cinzia's post explaining the rules and host line-up.

Deepali Jain-Confusion Cook

Please do not use images or text without my permission.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Baked Yeasted Doughnuts-Glazed, Filled and Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Doughnut Holes -We Knead to Bake

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I am in the minority of those who like fried glazed doughnuts. After the first few bites, I feel totally grease laden. But give me one of these Baked Doughnuts chosen for the June challenge of We Knead to Bake and I'm in heaven! As someone who has probably made hundreds of batches of cinnamon rolls for my daughters, their boyfriends and now my grandchildren, I now have a new weapon in my arsenal of sweet breads to make for my family.

There are many doughnuts cutters on the market. The first one I bought which I used for the doughnuts pictured was 3/4-inch thick, but made very small doughnuts. Just after I finished making the doughnuts, the 1-inch thick doughnut cutter arrived in the mail. If a big fat doughnut is what you want, I recommend buying the thicker cutter. Both cutters have a detachable "hole" and works as an ordinary cookie cutter. Aparna has detailed photos on preparing the dough, cutting out the doughnuts, baking, glazing and filling them. 

Baked Doughnuts
Original Recipe
Lara Ferroni's "Doughnuts"


1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup warm milk (45C/115F)
3/4 tbsp instant yeast (or 1 tbsp active dry yeast)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (or 1tbsp cornstarch + enough all-purpose flour to make up to 1 cup)
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
100gm (7 1/2 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into 1 inch cubes

For the topping:

About 1/2 cup melted butter for brushing
1 cup superfine sugar + 2 tbsp cinnamon (more or less, depending on your taste), mixed together
Glaze-I used a Maple Glaze (recipe on Saveur, although my glaze was not as dark as the photo on the website)
Jam for filling doughnuts-I used apple butter and a plastic squeeze bottle with the top cut out about 1/4" diameter. This was easier to me than using a pastry bag and tip.


Using a processor to knead helps but you can do this by hand.
Put the sugar, milk, yeast, salt and vanilla in the processor bowl and pulse to mix well. Add the cake flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour and process, adding a little more of the flour as necessary till the dough is thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Now add the butter pieces one at a time and process till there no large chunks of butter are left in the bottom of the bowl. Now add a little more flour until your have a soft, pliable and elastic dough, not overly stiff.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large mixing bowl., turning it to coat well. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise till double in volume. This should take about an hour.
Punch down the dough and roll out to a thickness of 1/2" thickness. Cut out doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or whatever you have on hand to cut out 3” diameter with 1” diameter holes. If you’re making doughnuts to fill with jam, then do not cut out the holes. Place the doughnuts and the holes on parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheets, leaving at least 1” space between them.

Re-roll the scraps and cut out more doughnuts. 

Let them rise for about 20 minutes or till almost double in size and then bake them at 200C (400F) for about 5 to 10 minutes till they’re done and golden brown. Do not over bake them.
This recipe makes about 12 to 14 doughnuts and holes.
Take them out of the oven and immediately brush them with the melted butter and then dip them into the cinnamon sugar mixture. If filling the doughnuts with jam, let them cool. Put the jam into a piping bag with a writing nozzle/ tip and press into the doughnut from the side and gently press out the jam into the doughnut till it starts oozing out. Jam doughnuts do not need too much jam to fill them. If glazing your doughnuts, let them cool completely and then dip one side of the doughnut in the glaze of your choice and let it set.

This post is being submitted to Yeastspotting.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blackberry Ginger Ricotta Ice Cream-Announcing Black and White Wednesday #89

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Not your traditional ice cream, this somewhat grainy, almost rustic blackberry ginger ice cream uses pureed ricotta cheese as a base with a little heavy cream added, but the intense ginger flavor comes from a homemade ginger simple syrup. Flecks of lime zest add a pleasing citrus zing. The blackberries are folded in the ice cream after processing in an ice cream maker. However, if an ice cream maker is not in your battery of appliances, instructions for making the ice cream without an ice cream maker can be found on David Lebovitz's Blog

This post is two fold-one to feature the blackberry ginger ricotta ice cream recipe and to announce that I am hosting BWW #89. Black and White Wednesday is among my favorite blog events. I get a special thrill out of transforming a culinary related color image into various shades of black and white. This superb event was begun by Susan back in the summer of  2011 and is now being expertly managed by Cinzia. Rather than going through the very simple requirements for joining this event, I refer you to Cinzia's rules and host's line-up post. Just send the link to your post to lynnylu AT gmail Dot com, attach a photo sized according to the size mentioned in the rules and host's line-up post and maybe a little about your photo. A blog is not necessary.

Blackberry Ginger Ricotta Ice Cream

1- 15 ounce carton ricotta cheese
1 cup ginger syrup ( recipe follows)
2 tablespoons ginger liqueur
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/4 heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blackberries

Puree the ricotta cheese until smooth. Add the ginger syrup, ginger liqueur, grated lime zest,heavy cream and vanilla extract. Blend well. Freeze in an ice cream maker or use the tray method described above. Remove from machine and fold in blackberries. For best results, freeze the ice cream in a shallow flat container. Also, best eaten the same day. Makes about 4 servings.

Ginger Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped

Over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add ginger pieces. Boil one minute. Remove from heat, cover and let sit one hour. Strain liquid. Discard ginger. Cover and refrigerate. Keeps about 1 month. For long storage, add 1 tablespoon vodka to the syrup. Makes about 1-1/2 cups. 
 Fresh Juicy Blackberries
Converted to Black and White with Totally Rad
Old Skool Filter

Blackberry  Ginger Ricotta Ice Cream
Converted to Black and White with Totally Rad
Old Skool Filter

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sausage Potato Salad-Gromperenzalot-Luxembourg Cuisine

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Although, heavily influenced by the cuisines of the bordering countries of Germany, France and Belgium, Luxembourg seems to have taken the best from each thus creating its own unique cuisine. While seafood, game and poultry dishes abound,  pork is the meat of choice and is often smoked or made into sausages.  Luxembourg hams are know world wide along with fine cheeses.  There is also a wide variety of vegetables and fruits rounding out the Luxembourg cuisine. It is the potato and smoked sausage that I am featuring here in celebration of our continuing journey through European Community Culinary ABC. Our host for this journey is Heather from Girlichef who not only has lovely photos and information on Luxembourg, but also prepares a delicious chicken in Riesling (Hong am Rèisleck). Aiuolik of Trattoria MuVarA created this event taking us on a virtual culinary journey through the countries of the European Union.

Growing up in the USA, the potato salad that graced my table was a cold, somewhat mushy salad made up of various ingredients, but most always dressed with a mayonnaise based dressing. It was good, but it was what I was used to. I first tasted a warm potato salad on a car trip through Germany a few years back and was amazed! Nice chunks of potato, diced celery, and onion, each  a distinct texture and the dressing was more of a vinaigrette than a solid mayonnaise dressing. It was delicious! My version adds thinly sliced sautéed smoked sausage, fresh thyme leaves and diced shallot. The dressing is a simple Dijon mustard vinaigrette which enhances the flavors, but doesn't cover that great potato and sausage flavor. It's also a very easy dish to prepare and can be served warm, cold or at room temperature which makes it a great dish for a barbecue meal or a pot luck dinner.

Sausage Potato Salad
Original Recipe here

1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 ounces cracked pepper smoked sausage, kielbasa, or fully cooked smoked sausage of choice, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds. (The brand of sausage was  my choice-I received no remuneration for choosing it.)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Mustard Dressing (You will have leftover dressing-perfect for salads)

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon style country mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste,about 1/4 teaspoon
6 tablespoons good olive oil

For the salad, bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, bring back to a boil and cook 10-15 minutes for small potatoes, more for larger potatoes. Drain and let cool. If large, quarter and transfer to a bowl. Add celery, shallot and fresh thyme leaves. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet,heat the 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage slices and saute until browned. Remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate to drain some of the fat off. Transfer to the bowl of potatoes, shallot, celery and thyme leaves.

In a small jar with a lid, add the red wine vinegar, country mustard, garlic, salt  and pepper. Pour in the 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Close lid and shake until emulsified. Add 1/2 of this mixture to the potato mixture and toss to combine. Taste, adjust seasonings and add more dressing if desired. Garnish with  parsley.Serve warm or at room temperature. 4-6 servings.
Ready to be mixed together

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pizza Rustica-Ham, Salame and Cheese Filled Pie

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A festive savory pie, this Italian pizza dates back to the 1500's, a culinary tradition in the Northern area of Italy customarily served at Easter.  Although the fillings for this rustic, yet elegant Italian pizza pie vary with what is available in one's pantry or refrigerator, traditional fillings are ham, prosciutto, salami and a selection of various cheeses which may include mozzarella, provolone or both.  Greens  such as swiss chard, spinach or herbs as well as tomatoes can also be used as fillings. Let your imagination be your guide and create your own version of pizza rustica. Served warm or at room temperature, pizza rustica is a perfect dish for parties or picnics. A bottle of good Chianti and a green salad is all you need for a complete meal. Recipe adapted from Carol Field's  Italy in Small Bites

A sturdy dough easily made in a food processor. Refrigerate dough 1-2 hours and up to 1 day.


2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons ice cold water, if needed

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times to combine. Scatter the cold pieces of butter over the top of the flour, pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, pour the eggs down the feed tube and process until a dough forms. Add water, if needed. Remove to a lightly floured surface, then divide dough into 2 pieces, one twice as large as the other. Flatten to a 1/2-inch-thick discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile prepare the filling.


6 ounces mozzarella, cubed
5 ounces cooked ham, cut thick and cubed
5 ounces salami, cut thick and cubed
5 ounces sheep's-milk cheese, cubed (I used additional mozzarella)
5 ounces good ricotta cheese
3 eggs
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
For glaze-1 egg white, beaten

In a large bowl, mix together the mozzarella , ham, salami and sheep's-milk cheese (or additional mozzarella). In a separate bowl, press the ricotta through a sieve, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.. Add this to the cheese and salami mixture, then stir in the Parmesan cheese and seasonings.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece to form a 13-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Lay this inside a well-greased 9-inch springform pan, ensuring that some of the dough drapes over the edges. Spread the filling over the dough. Roll out the second smaller piece of dough to form a 9-1/2-inch circle. Cover the filling with the dough and pinch the edges of the two layers together to seal. Prick the surface with a fork and brush the  beaten egg white over the surface.

Bake until top is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Remove to a serving plate. Serves 8. 

This is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #88 hosted by Sreevalli of Ammaji Recipes. Several years running now, Black and White Wednesday, A Weekly Culinary Event was created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Susan handed the baton to Cinzia, who authors CindyStar Blog. Rules and host line-up can be found on Cinzia's blog.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Minted Lemon Limeade-Secret Recipe Club

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Summertime, summertime-I'm so glad you are finally here, but you have definitely cut into my blogging on a regular basis! I've missed the Secret Recipe Club and since it is summer, I'm posting an adaptation of Fresh Herbed Lemonade from Erin from Wholesome RD, my appointed blog for the month of June. Erin, a registered dietician who lives in my favorite food city- Chicago, posts an amazing and diverse collection of healthy recipes ranging from starters to desserts. I wanted to try her Asian Slaw so I could use my new food processor or the Caprese Salad, but used my cabbages for slaw dogs at a beach picnic and haven't found any delectable fresh tomatoes yet. However, the mint in my potted herb garden is growing like gangbusters, so decided upon the lemon-limeade libation heady with mint.
Without further ado, here is my version of Erin's recipe adapted from What's Cookin, Chicago and All Recipes.

Minted Lemon Limeade

1 cup sugar
4 limes, juiced- shells reserved
4 lemons, juiced-shells reserved
1/2-3/4 cup juice from lemons and limes
1 cup fresh mint leaves, washed and spun dry in a lettuce spinner
1 cup very hot water
3 cups water
sliced lemons, limes or both for garnish
mint sprigs for garnish

Muddle sugar with the lime and lemon shells. Let sit for about an hour, muddling and mixing the shells with the sugar. After about an hour, add 1 cup hot water. Stir to combine. Using a colander, pour this mixture into a separate large measuring cup. Press down on citrus shells to extract juices. Add the mint leaves. Refrigerate about an hour to meld flavors. Press through a sieve pushing down on mint to further extract the mint flavor. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pour the lemon, lime mint syrup into a pitcher. Add the reserved juice and water. Stir to combine. Add lemon slices, if desired. Pour over ice. Garnish with fresh mint. Serves 4

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Eggs Triptych

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Summer is definitely here and my house seems to have been turned into a hotel! Not that I mind at all though! I'm thrilled that my daughters come to visit and bring their friends. Not only have I had company, but have been traveling here and there, too. This past weekend was a special occasion-the oldest granddaughter graduated from high school. All these special events have cut into my photography and blogging, but today I'm back with a triptych featuring some new pottery and freshly laid eggs from my friend's farm. All three photos were edited with Topaz BW Effects 2. 

These photos are my contribution to BWW # 86, this week hosted by Deeplai Jain of Confusion Cook. For rules and host line-up, visit our BWW lovely admin  Cinzia's at Cindystar Blog. Black and White Wednesday was created by the uber talented Susan of  The Well-Seasoned Cook.

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