|This recipe came from Joan Nathan who prepared a ton of it for our Les Dames d’Escoffier event for Martha’s Table. The pomegranate seeds add a sweet and tart zing to the guacamole. I thought it would make a nice upscale dish for our Cinco de Mayo party. Although this recipe serves two, it can easily be scaled to whatever size you need.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, mash the avocado.
Stir in the red onion, lime juice, and pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with salt.
Spoon into pita pockets or spread on crackers and serve.
Here’s a hearty salad that can be a satisfying vegetarian or gluten-free entrée or if you’d like toss in some shredded cooked chicken breast or duck confit. Sherry vinegar plays a key role in this vinaigrette as it is not as acidic as red wine vinegar and not overly sweet like balsamic. But, in a pinch you can substitute just be sure to adjust with more sweetness or more acidity.
To prepare the rice:
1. Wash the rice under cold water for 2 minutes. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add the salt, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the washed rice to the boiling water and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain the rice and remove the bay leaf and thyme; let cool. (This can be done 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.) You should have 7 cups cooked rice.
2. In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed or canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat, drain well, and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette:
1. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, shallots, fennel, cumin, thyme, and pepper and season with salt. Add the dried fruits.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the cooled wild rice, cooked mushrooms, and walnuts. Toss with the vinaigrette and fruits.
3. To serve, portion the salad onto a large platter, top with the greens, and sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese.
I love the taste of salty and sweet flavors and when perfectly balanced with a little acidity and richness all the flavors bounce around in your mouth. This recipe is a perfect example of the ying-yang play of sweet figs and salty olives. Try your own versions with dried apricots, cherries, or mango.
Combine chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, and chopped thyme. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)Arrange overlapping cheese rounds in circle in center of medium platter. Stir chopped walnuts into tapenade; spoon into center of cheese circle. Garnish with walnut halves and thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve with breads and/or crackers.
Yield: 2 cups
What better way to warm up than sharing a warm pot of festive cheese fondue to share with friends and loved ones? Here are some of our favorite non-traditional fondue recipes:
Gorgonzola Dolce Fondue - adapted from New York Times
1 garlic clove, halved
1 cup sweet wine, such as Passito di Pantelleria or Sauternes
3/4 pound Gorgonzola Dolce, crumbled
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cream cheese
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crusty bread, apple cubes or grapes, for serving
1. Rub cut side of garlic on inside of a large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed saucepan, rubbing the bottom and half way up the sides. Add wine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss Gorgonzola with cornstarch. Add a quarter of the cheese into simmering wine; reduce heat to medium, and whisk constantly until cheese is completely melted. Repeat until all cheese has been added. Whisk in cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Other delicious fondue recipes:
Fondue Savoyarde with Mushrooms – Saveur Magazine
Feta Fondue with Walnuts and Parsley – Tyler Florence
Whiskey-Cheddar Cheese Fondue – Food & Wine
Roast Pumpkin with Cheese “Fondue” – Gourmet
Fondue with Chipotle and Tequila – Blog Food & Style
|Experienced cooks know that careful measuring is important if you want to get consistent results in the kitchen. This is especially true for baked goods, when too much (or too little) baking powder or baking soda or flour can mean the difference between a tall, gorgeous layer cake and a flat, dense frosted pancake.
So what should be in your arsenal of measuring utensils? Basically, you will need one set of measuring spoons for the little stuff and two sets of measuring cups for the big stuff. (Since you measure dry ingredients differently than liquids, you need a set of cups for each.)
|Liquid Measuring Cups come in 1-, 2-, 4- and 8-cup glass or clear plastic cups with pour spouts. You can buy sets of three or four, but if need be, you can get by with just one 2-cup measure. Purchase cups with handles and make sure they have the last marking well below the rim (so measured liquids will not spill over the top). When measuring liquids, always place the cup on a level surface, then bend down and check the measurement at eye level for accurate reading.
Dry Measuring Cups are glass, plastic or stainless steel and come in graduated nesting sets which usually include a 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup. With these cups, the measurement is at the rim, so that you can level off ingredients. To “level off” a dry ingredient, add enough to the measuring cup to heap over the top of the cup, then use a table knife to swipe across the top, causing excess to fall out and creating a level top. For less than 1/4 cup, use standard measuring spoons.
|Measuring Spoons, available in plastic or stainless steel, are used to measure smaller amounts of both dry and liquid ingredients and usually come in sets of four that include 1/4-teaspoon, 1/2-teaspoon, 1-teaspoon and 1-tablespoon measures. For dry ingredients, be sure to level off the ingredient as you do for cup measures.
|Tips for Accurate Measuring|
|Here are some common measurement equivalents:
1 teaspoon = 60 drops
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
2 cups = 1 pint = 16 fluid ounces
4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon Other miscellaneous equivalents:
1 dash = less than 1/8 teaspoon
1/3 cup = 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
1 jigger = 1 1/2 fluid ounces = 3 tablespoons
|Learn how to cut down on cuts from knives—and make chopping and slicing easier to boot!