Manteca chamber-music series ends

After 29 years, the Manteca Kindred Arts Series of chamber music concerts has been ended.
“Our reasons for concluding our series are very basic,” spokesman Joseph Scott wrote in a statement representing the Manteca Kindred Arts Concert Association. “Many of our board members and volunteers are less able to continue participating at the energetic level such concerts require, due to relocating, aging and health concerns.
“We prefer not to focus on feelings of sadness but the joyful ones for having successfully provided beautiful music 29 years.”
Money, as always, was an issue.
Scott explained that producing an annual series in an “affordable manner by relying on our membership and donors” no longer is feasible.
The four-concert 2015-16 season ended Feb. 28 with a performance by San Francisco pianist Allegra Chapman at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, the series site since 1986.
mantecakindredarts.com/2015-2016/Home.html

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More comedy in Stockton

Kabir “Kabeezy” Singh, known for his voicings on TV’s “Family Guy,” a cartoon sitcom, performs his stand-up routine Wednesday during a first-time comedy show at Stockton’s Royal Indian Cuisine and Banquet Restaurant.

Singh, originally from Portland, Oregon, performs on a show headlined by Stockton’s Kevin Young. Kurt Weitzman does his stand-up routine, too. Singh, based in North Hollywood, also writes for “Family Guy” on Fox.

Singh, who performs regularly on the Northern California comedy circuit, won the Bay Area Stand up Comedy Competition in 2009 and 2010, prevailing in a group of 160 comedians from around the U.S.

The 8 p.m. comedy show – at 7610 Hammer Lane – is preceded by a dinner of chicken, fish and appetizers. $25. Reservations recommended. (209) 546-8267.

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HOLIDAY RECIPES

LEMONGRASS BEEF AND SCALLION ROLLS

This dish is an easy version of the Japanese dish beef negimaki. Roll them ahead, wrap in plastic and store in the fridge until you’re ready to grill and serve. You’ll find lemongrass stalks in Asian markets.

INGREDIENTS

• 1½ pounds top round steak

• 4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, pounded and minced

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 2 tablespoons fish sauce

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 2 teaspoons or soy sauce

• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 6 scallions

• Toasted crushed sesame seeds, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Place meat in freezer for 30 to 45 minutes, then slice as thinly as possible against the grain.

Combine lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, honey, soy sauce and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Add beef and toss to combine. Let beef marinate for up to 1 hour at room temperature, or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Trim scallions and cut crosswise into halves or thirds, so that they are a bit longer than the width of the slices of beef. Bring 1 inch water to a simmer in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and blanch just until their color deepens, 15 to 20 seconds. Drain.

Preheat an outdoor grill, stovetop grill or panini press.

Roll each piece of beef around 1 or 2 pieces of scallion, and brush the excess marinade on outside of each roll. If desired, thread rolls onto wooden skewers or toothpicks that have been soaked in water.

Grill until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.

Makes four to eight servings.

— “Paleo Planet: Primal Foods From the Global Kitchen” by Becky Winkler (Harvard Common Press, November 2015, $24.95)

 

WARM BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHEDDAR DIP

This warm dip for the holidays is totally unexpected but totally delicious. It features all the tastes of the season, plus cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese?

INGREDIENTS

• Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling and greasing

• 1 large butternut squash (about 3½ pounds)

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick), plus more if needed

• 20 sage leaves

• 1 large onion, thinly sliced

• 4 medium cloves garlic, minced

• 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature

• ½ cup sour cream

• 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

• Crackers or pita chips, to dip

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Grease a small baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

Peel, seed, and dice the squash into 1-inch cubes. Alternatively, use the microwave: Poke holes all over the squash with a fork or make shallow slits in the skin with a knife. Microwave squash for 3 minutes or until the skin and flesh have softened slightly. Peel squash and cut into cubes. Discard seeds.

Place squash cubes on the prepared sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast squash until fork-tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves and fry in butter until lightly crisped and beginning to darken slightly. Remove pan from heat and remove sage leaves using a slotted spoon. Set aside.

Return pan to heat, add onion, and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion has caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add more butter if onion begins to stick to pan. Stir in garlic at the very end and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Place roasted squash, caramelized onion mixture, and about 2/3 of the crispy sage leaves into the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. Add cream cheese and sour cream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer squash mixture to prepared baking dish and mix in half of the cheddar cheese throughout. Top with remaining half of cheese. (At this point, the dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking and serving.)

When ready to serve, bake dip at 400 degrees until cheese is entirely melted and browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Top with remaining crispy sage leaves and serve warm with pita chips or crackers for dipping.

Serves 10.

— seriouseats.com

 

CANDIED JALAPEÑOS (COWBOY CANDY)

One popular, and easy, appetizer you see on a lot of holiday party tables is cream cheese topped with some sort of spicy jelly. This year, dress the dish up with a lip-tingling jar of “cowboy candy,” or candied jalapeño. It’s easy to make and very pretty; for added holiday cheer, use a mix of green and red peppers. Be forewarned: These are totally addictive.

INGREDIENTS

• 3 pounds fresh jalapeño peppers, washed

• 2 cups cider vinegar

• 6 cups white granulated sugar

• ½ teaspoon turmeric

• ½ teaspoon celery seed

• 3 teaspoons granulated garlic

• 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Wearing gloves, remove and discard stems from all of the jalapeño peppers. Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-¼ inch rounds. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within ¼ inch of the top rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeño slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp paper towel and fix on new two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.

If eating right away, place jars in refrigerator. To can, place jars in a canner and cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth, then label.

To serve, spoon candied jalapeños on top of cream cheese and serve with crackers.

Makes 4 (8 ounce) jars.

— tastykitchen.com

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Holiday Cookies

CINNAMON COOKIES

Yield: About 60 cookies

INGREDIENTS

• 12½ tablespoons (just over 1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

• 1/3 cup light brown sugar

• Grated zest of 1 lemon

• 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

• 1 teaspoon water

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, brown sugar and lemon zest together on medium speed until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon and mix until combined. Then add the oil and water and mix until fully combined.

3. Place the dough on plastic wrap and roll it into logs that are 2 inches in diameter. Smaller logs are easier to work with than one long one — it may be helpful to use about a baseball-sized portion of dough to form each log. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap as you would to wrap a candy to help you achieve an evenly round log. Freeze for about 2 hours or until the logs are chilled all the way through. You can freeze the logs, well wrapped in plastic and stored in an airtight container, for up to 1 month. Defrost frozen logs before using, but be sure they are still chilled all the way through.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon until well combined.

5. With a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies begin to pick up a little color along the bottom edges. Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheet or a cooling rack, then store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.

Recipe slightly adapted from “Payard Cookies” by Francois Payard and Anne E. McBride

 

JOE FROGGERS (GINGER RUM MOLASSES COOKIES)

Yield: 36 to 48 cookies, depending on the size of the cutter

INGREDIENTS

• 4 cups all-purpose flour

• 1½ teaspoons salt

• 1½ teaspoons ground ginger

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

• 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

• 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

• 1/4 cup granulated sugar

• 1¼ cups molasses

• 3 tablespoons dark rum

• Coarse sugar for decorating

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Whisk the flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda together. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until there are no visible lumps. Add both sugars and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the molasses, and beat until the mixture is uniform in color.

3. Prepare 1/3 cup very hot water. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the hot water, in three parts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, add the rum, and mix for 15 seconds. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a work surface and a rolling pin with a sprinkling of flour. Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch round. Cut out the cookies with a 2- to 3-inch round cookie cutter and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle a tiny bit of coarse sugar onto each cookie.

5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until they are set (the cookies will be chewier at 8 minutes, crispier at 12 minutes). Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe from “Baked Explorations; Classic American Desserts Reinvented,” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

 

PALMIERS

Yield: 48 cookies

INGREDIENTS

• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

• Zest from 2 small lemons, chopped

• 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

• 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed but still chilled

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, lemon zest and thyme. Spread 1/2 cup of this mixture onto a counter or other flat surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry onto the mixture (keep the other sheet in the refrigerator for the time being) and spread 1/4 cup of the mixture on top of it, covering the pastry evenly. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 13-by-13-inch square, pressing the sugar mixture into it on both sides.

3. Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle (that is, they fold over to the 1/4 mark on both sides). Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over on the other half, as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers.

4. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheets. They will spread while they cook, so leave an inch or two between them. Lightly sprinkle the cut sides with a total of 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining sugar. Do not clean up the sugar mixture that remains on the counter or flat surface.

5. Bake the cookies for 5 to 7 minutes until caramelized and lightly brown on the bottom. Turn with a spatula and lightly sprinkle the new sides facing up with 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

6. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture to the sugar that remains on the counter or flat surface. Repeat the process with the second sheet of puff pastry. You can prepare the second group of cookies while the first one is baking.

Recipe by Jeffrey Deutsch, adapted from Ina Garten

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Wolfgang Puck recipe

AUSTRIAN-STYLE CREPES WITH APRICOT JAM FILLING

INGREDIENTS

• 1 large cage-free egg

• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

• Pinch of salt

• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon reserved for cooking

• 2/3 cup milk

• 3 cups apricot preserves or other chunky fruit preserves

INSTRUCTIONS

In a small stainless-steel mixing bowl, whisk the egg until lightly frothy. Whisk in the sugar and salt; then, little by little, whisk in the flour.

Continue whisking while drizzling in the 3 tablespoons of butter. Finally, still stirring with the whisk, gradually pour in the milk until a smooth batter forms.

Place a fine-meshed wire strainer over another mixing bowl. Pour the batter through the strainer to eliminate any lumps. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator to rest for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

Before cooking the crepes, remove the batter from the refrigerator and stir briefly with the whisk to combine all the ingredients until smooth.

With a clean basting brush, brush a 12-inch nonstick frying pan with some of the reserved melted butter. Heat the pan over medium-low heat.

Ladle about 1 ounce of the batter into the pan while lifting the handle of the pan with your other hand and swirling the batter to coat the bottom of the pan thinly but evenly with the batter. Return the pan to the heat and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side, gently turning the crepe over.

As each crepe is done, transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, stacking the crepes.

While the crepes are cooking, gently warm the jam in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

When all the crepes are done, spoon 2 tablespoons of the warm jam into the center of a crepe. Roll up the crepe or fold it over twice to form a quarter-circle shape. Repeat with the remaining crepes and jam.

Arrange the crepes on individual serving plates. Hold a small, fine-meshed sieve over a plate of crepes, spoon a little confectioner’s sugar into it, and tap the sieve to dust the crepes lightly with sugar. Repeat with the remaining crepes and serve.

Makes about 2 dozen crepes, serving eight to 12 people.

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VINTAGE STRAWBERRY PIE

1 hour, plus chilling time. Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

PIE CRUST

• 2 cups flour

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

• 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

• 1/4 cup ice water, more if needed

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter cubes and toss them in the flour to coat. Using your fingertips, progressively separate the butter into smaller pieces while tossing them back into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Make a well in the center and drizzle over 4 tablespoons of water. If too dry, add additional water, a tablespoon at a time. Combine and shape into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap with plastic film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When ready to shape the pie shell, flour a working surface generously and roll the dough with a rolling pin until it’s very thin — about 1/4 inch thick. Cut a dough circle large enough to fit into a 9-inch pie pan — don’t forget to account for an extra half inch of dough to crimp a decorative edge. Lightly coat the pie tin with nonstick spray and lay the dough circle inside the tin. Gather the excess dough around the edges and crimp as desired. Refrigerate the pie shell for at least one hour or up to two days.

Set an oven rack to the middle position, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. To pre-bake the pie shell, coat it lightly with nonstick spray, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or rice to weigh down the dough and prevent it from puffing while in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, carefully lift the parchment circle to remove the beans and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until it’s a deep golden brown. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool completely.

 

STRAWBERRY PIE

INGREDIENTS

• 6 cups strawberries, halved

• 2 tablespoons port wine, creme de cassis or framboise

• 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder

• Pinch kosher salt

• 3 tablespoons cornstarch

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 vanilla bean

INSTRUCTIONS

While the pie shell is baking, start working on the strawberry sauce. Puree 2 cups of the strawberries in a blender until completely liquefied. Add the port, gelatin powder, salt and cornstarch, and blend for another minute.

Put sugar in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot and add about 1/2 cup of water just to moisten the sugar. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a pairing knife, scrape out the pulp with the back of the knife, and put the pulp and the pod into the pot. Cook over high heat without stirring until the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let it reduce until it resembles a thick syrup. Add the strawberry puree and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes while stirring constantly; the mixture will be thick. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Gently toss the rest of the strawberries with the cooled strawberry mixture until they’re all evenly covered. Add the strawberry filling in the prepared shell so it makes a mound in the middle, packing it lightly with your hand so the strawberries stick together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Stone Fruit Recipe

PEACH AND NECTARINE TART

INGREDIENTS 

For pie crust

• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher or sea salt)

• 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar

• 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

• 1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water

Peach and nectarine filling

• 1 1/2 pounds fresh ripe peaches and nectarines (roughly half and half)

• 1/8 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher or sea salt)

• 3-4 tablespoons granulated white sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

For pie crust

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour about 1/8 cup water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add the remaining water, a little at a time, if necessary.

Gather pastry into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour.

Once the pastry has chilled, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 13-inch round. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter, and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). Transfer the pastry to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the peaches.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

For filling

Cut the peaches and nectarines in half, remove the pits, and cut into 1 inch wedges (slices).

Place the peach and nectarine slices in a large bowl and season with the salt. Then add the sugar and gently toss to combine.

Arrange the peach and nectarine slices on the pastry, placing them as close together as you can, without overlapping the slices too much. Leave about two inches for the border.

Scrape any remaining sugar from the bowl and drizzle over top of the fruit. Gently fold the edges of the pastry up and over the peaches and nectarines, pleating as necessary. Make sure to seal any cracks in the pastry.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown, and the peaches and nectarines are tender when gently pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

— Adapted from thejoyofbaking.com

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Ricotta Recipes

FRESH WHOLE-MILK RICOTTA CHEESE

For fact-checkers, know that ricotta means “twice cooked” in Italian. There, it’s made from the whey left when making mozzarella. Since we’re making it from scratch, our recipe is kind of a “faux ricotta.” Delicious, all the same. Use fresh milk, cream and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The recipe doubles easily, but best to make a smaller amount the first time. Find cheesecloth in most hardware and grocery stores; it is necessary to keep small curds from escaping through the holes in the colander.

INGREDIENTS 

• 2 quarts whole milk

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/4 cup fresh, strained lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Line a colander with 3 to 4 layers of lightly dampened cheesecloth, and set it in, or over, a larger bowl. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of a heavy-duty 7- to 8-quart pot. Pour the milk and cream into the pot and slowly warm the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 185 degrees, about 20 minutes. Watch carefully, as milk likes to scorch.

Remove from the heat; add the salt and stir until it dissolves. Slowly pour the lemon juice over the surface of the milk. Once all of the juice has been added, stir gently, using a slow lifting motion, for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage curds to form. When you begin to see the curds form, slowest stirring is essential. Gently transfer the curds into the colander using a strainer or perforated ladle. Do not pour the mixture.

The draining time determines the ricotta’s firmness. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the curds to lightly cover, and allow to drain anywhere from 30 minutes (for soft curds) to 4 hours (for a rather firm, dry cheese). Transfer the fresh ricotta to a jar, cover and refrigerate.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

— Adapted from Fine Cooking

 

RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH PARMESAN, BROWN BUTTER AND SAGE

This is a quick and easy weekday supper. Because I cook for two, I sauté half the gnocchi and freeze the rest. You can also sauté the gnocchi and serve them with a simple tomato sauce. If you make a batch of caramelized onions in advance, you can almost pretend they are pierogies, but with a subtle and more complex flavor.

INGREDIENTS 

For the gnocchi:

• 3/4 cup flour, plus additional for dusting

• 1/4 cup (3 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

• Zest of 1 lemon, grated

• 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese, drained

• 1 large egg

• Pinch salt

For the sauce:

• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

• 12 to 18 sage leaves

• 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 2 tablespoons water

• 1/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

• 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped

• Chopped hazelnuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine flour, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest in bowl. In another bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg and salt. Add to the flour mixture and stir until the dough just comes together. Do not overwork or the dough can toughen.

Scrape the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Divide the dough into 4 sections. Using your hands, lightly roll each piece into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Place pieces on 2 floured paper plates and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to two hours to rest.

Heat butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate all gnocchi without crowding, but not so wide that the sauce evaporates. When butter foams, add gnocchi and cook, until light brown on all sides, about, 5-6 minutes. Use a spoon and a chopstick to flip the gnocchi.

When gnocchi are almost cooked, lower the heat to medium and add shallot and sage leaves; cook briefly, to release flavors, then add garlic, lemon juice and water. Cook briefly, allowing sauce to thicken a bit. Add Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Toss to coat the gnocchi.

Spoon gnocchi and sauce into shallow bowls, top with a sprinkling of hazelnuts and serve right away.

Makes about 40 pieces.

— Chef Michael Symon

 

CANNOLI, MOSTLY HOMEMADE

If you buy the shells, you can have “homemade” cannoli any day you like. Drain the ricotta in a strainer set over a bowl for at least a half hour before making the filling. You can sweeten and spice to taste.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 cups whole-milk ricotta, well-drained

• 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, or to taste

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

• Zest of a small lemon

• Pinch fine salt

• 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped fairly stiff

• Mini-chocolate chips, about 1/3 cup, divided

• Powdered sugar for dusting

• 6 large or 12 small cannoli shells

INSTRUCTIONS

For the filling: in a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar and spices; add the lemon zest and salt. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until fairly stiff. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cream into the ricotta mixture. Stir in half the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

To fill the cannoli: just before serving, use a pastry (or plastic) bag without a tip to pipe the ricotta into the cannoli shells. Fill them from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell. Dust with a sifting of powdered sugar and dip ends into remaining chocolate chips.

Makes 6 large or 12 small cannoli.

— Marlene Parrish

 

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Trout recipe

ROASTED TROUT WITH LIME-DILL BUTTER AND ROASTED POTATOES

Ingredients

• 2 (12-ounce) boned rainbow trout, with head and tail

• 1 lime, very thinly sliced

• 1 bunch fresh dill, divided

• Salt and pepper

• 1 pound small red potatoes

• 4 tablespoons butter, divided

• 4 cloves garlic, sliced

• Juice of 1 lime

• 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Line the belly cavity of each trout with lime slices and a few sprigs of dill; set the remaining dill aside. Arrange the lime and dill so they will not fall out of the cavities. Season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper, and reserve.

If the potatoes are larger than a golf ball, cut them into wedges. Place them in a medium pot with enough cold water to barely cover them. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Immediately drain and allow the potatoes to air dry for a few minutes.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the garlic in a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. As the garlic begins to brown, add the potatoes and toss to coat with the butter. Allow the potatoes to sear in the pan until they begin to brown on one side.

Shake the pan to arrange the potatoes in a single layer — this will be the bed for the trout. Lay the stuffed trout on top of the potatoes and transfer to the oven. Roast until the trout is cooked through, about 12 minutes; check for doneness by gently lifting the belly flap to reveal the meat. If it is an even color all the way through, it is done.

For the lime butter, chop the remaining dill. Combine the lime juice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, swirling the pan until it is all melted into the sauce. Season with salt and add the dill. Serve the butter on the side. Remove lime slices from fish before eating.

Makes two servings.

— Recipe from “For Cod and Country,” by Barton Seaver

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Rhubarb recipes

SKILLET CHICKEN WITH RHUBARB

Don’t let the greenish tint of this savory chicken dish dissuade you from trying it — it is so, so good. Good enough, in fact, to serve to company.

INGREDIENTS

• 5 1/2-pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

• 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

• 1 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed

• 5 sprigs thyme, preferably lemon thyme

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 bunch spring onions or scallions, white and light-green stalks thinly sliced (slice and reserve greens for garnish)

• 2 stalks green garlic, thinly sliced, or 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/2 cup dry white wine

• 3/4 pound fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 cups)

• 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

Pat chicken dry and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place in a bowl with the thyme sprigs and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove thyme from bowl with chicken, reserving thyme. Add chicken pieces to skillet and sear, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer pieces to a platter.

Reduce heat to medium. Stir in onion (white and light-green parts) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and reserved thyme; cook 1 minute more. Stir in wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of pan. Add rhubarb, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Return chicken pieces to pot in a single layer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes for breasts and 20 to 25 minutes for legs and thighs, transferring chicken pieces to a platter as they finish cooking.

Whisk butter into rhubarb sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with sliced onion greens.

Serves 4.

— Melissa Clark, New York Times

 

RHUBARB-GLAZED SHRIMP

“Don’t stop with shrimp” in this recipe, advise the editors of Sunset. “This sweet-and-sour barbecue sauce promises to be a summer staple, since it’s great on grilled pork chops and chicken, too.”

INGREDIENTS

• 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb (preferably red rather than green)

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

• 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

• 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (36 to 42 per pound)

• 1 green onion, thinly sliced diagonally

INSTRUCTIONS 

Heat a grill to high (450 to 550 degrees). In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook rhubarb, ginger, garlic, hoisin, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. When rhubarb starts to break apart, about 3 minutes, whisk in soy sauce and transfer half the glaze to a small bowl.

Thread shrimp onto 4 metal skewers. Brush both sides of shrimp with glaze from pan. Grill shrimp, turning and basting generously as you go, until they’re opaque and grill marks appear, about 8 minutes total.

Transfer to a serving plate and brush with glaze from bowl. Sprinkle with onion. Serve with remaining glaze from bowl on the side.

Serves 6.

— Sunset magazine

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