Monday, June 19, 2017

Slow Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb Dinner

Shown with honey glazed carrot roses and sauerkraut

Boneless Leg of lamb
1 butterflied boneless leg of lamb: 5 to 7 pounds
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1.      Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 200 F.
2.      Open out lamb leg on cutting board and season generously with salt and pepper inside and out.
3.      Roll lamb up and secure with twine.
4.      Place lamb on wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
5.      Place in oven and cook until center of roast registers 132 F, about 3 hours.
6.      Remove roast from oven and tent tightly with aluminum foil.
7.      Place in warming oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1-1/2 hours.
8.      Heat oven to 500 F.
9.      Ten minutes prior to serving, remove foil and place roast in hot oven and cook until well-browned and crisp on exterior, about 6 to 8 minutes.
10.   Remove from oven and cut off and remove twine.
11.   Slice into ½-inch slices and serve immediately.

White Bean Puree
1 cup dried Navy white beans
½ cup minced onion
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup diced red pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small smoked ham hock
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper

1.      Soak beans overnight. Then rinse well.
2.      Combine beans, onions, garlic, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, ham hock and chicken stock in pot, with lid, over high heat and bring to boil.
3.      Reduce heat to low and simmer, adding more stock if needed, until beans are very tender.
4.      Remove ham hock, remove skin and discard. Then remove meat and chop roughly.
5.      Place meat in blender with cooked beans and liquid and puree until smooth. Add a wee bit more stock, if needed to achieve desired consistency. Season lightly to taste with salt and pepper.

Wilted Rosemary Spinach
2 Tablespoons clarified butter
6 cups packed fresh spinach
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons rice wine

1.      In a large pan over medium heat, briefly warm the clarified butter.
2.      Add spinach and rosemary and let sit for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.
3.      Sprinkle with salt and pepper and, as the spinach begins to wilt, turn gently with tongs so that uncooked spinach rotates to the bottom of the pan.
4.      Add vinegar and wine and continue to turn spinach until it has just wilted but is still bright green.

To Assemble
1.      Spoon pool of bean puree onto each serving dish.
2.      Place mound of wilted spinach in the center of the beans.
3.      Arrange sliced lamb over top.
4.      Sprinkle with salt.

5.      Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread
Yield: 1 loaf or two small

INGREDIENTS – for waking up the starter
4 oz water – filtered (no chlorine in it) or bottled water, room temperature
2 oz whole wheat flour
2 oz white unbleached flour

INGREDIENTS – for the bread
1 cup warm water
3 – 4 cups flour (½ wheat, ½ white unbleached)
̴1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

first night (thursday or friday)
1.           Wake up the starter.
    1. Scrape starter into a ceramic or glass bowl.
    2. Add 4 oz water and stir until mixed.
    3. Add the 2 oz of whole wheat and 2 oz of white and stir until flour is wet.
    4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and sit out on counter overnight.
    5. In the morning, bubbles should be present.

second night (FRIDAY OR SATURDAY)
2.           In a large bowl, combine the water, about ½ cup of the sourdough starter and 2 cups of flour. Return the rest of the starter to storage in the refrigerator.
3.           Mix well and cover with plastic wrap in a warm place 8-12 hours (overnight).

third day (SATURDAY or sunday) – plan on six hours (30 min. prep, 1 hr. baking)
4.           Next day stir in the salt and sugar and add flour 1/2 to 1 cup (½ wheat and ½ white) at a time to make a very stiff dough.
5.           Knead till smooth.
6.           Clean out bowl. Return dough to bowl. Cover and let rise 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

7.           Punch down.
8.           Knead till smooth and form into round. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover lightly (use a linen cloth) and let rise till double and puffy (1 to 2 hrs).

9.           Place a small pan of water on bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
10.        Cut two slashes across each other on top of loaf.
11.        Bake for 5 minutes. Spray with water.

12.        Bake for 5 more minutes. Spray with water.
13.        Bake for another 30 – 50 minutes until internal temperature reaches 205 F.

14.        Allow bread to cool for at least two hours to develop the sourdough flavor fully.

  • Could use all wheat flour.
  • To make a rye, use ½ rye and ½ wheat. Also add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and a handful of caraway seeds.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Rye Baguettes

 1/3 lb white flour
1/3 lb rye flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
2 Tbs caraway see
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 Tbs blackstrap molasses
2/3 cups water (100 F)

1/3 cup water (100 F)
1 package yeast

Use a rubber spatula to stir, until dissolved, yeast in the 1/3 cup water

Stir all the dry ingredients together.

Stir in the molasses and 2/3 cups water into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the dissolved yeast mixture.

Dump mixture out onto floured surface. Let rest for four minutes.

Start kneading by using a scraper to scrape and flip, scrape and flip. Let rest 2 minutes. Then knead by hand by slapping the dough down on the counter. Add flour as necessary to get a good consistency. This process should take 8 to 10 minutes.

Place in clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise to 7 cups. This will take hours.

Hint: mark on bowl the seven cup level.

Dump out on floured surface and pat out into about a 10 inch circle. Then fold near to far, left to right, and near to far. Place back in bowl and let rise to 7 cups again.

Dump onto floured surface and cut into two pieces. Let rest five minutes.

Form about a 6 x 8 inch rectangle. With the edge of the hand, form a trench in the middle the length of the rectangle. Fold over almost to the edge so you have about a 4 x 8 inch rectangle and use the heel of the hand to seal.

Now roll into a cylinder about 18 to 20 inches long and place in floured cloth to proof.

Let rise until puffy.

Transfer to baking vessel. Use a razor blade to cut three scars along the length of the baguette.

Using a spray bottle, spray water on baguettes until moist.

Place in lower level of 450 degree oven.

At two minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle.

At four minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle.

At six minutes mist the loaves with water using the spray bottle and move loaves to upper third of oven.

Bake additional 17 to 19 minutes.

Cool loaves in vertical position.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017



1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion minced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
12 ounces tomato paste
13+ ounces tomato sauce
½ cup water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Lasagna noodles (no-cook)
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese – thinly sliced or coarsely grated
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook sausage, ground beef, onion in a Dutch oven over medium heat until well browned. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water and stir. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 Tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 Tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Whisk egg until pale yellow. Add ricotta cheese, remaining parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375.

Spread 1-1/2 cups of meat sauce in bottom of 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1/1.2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Repeat layers (noodles, meat sauce, ricotta, mozzarella). Final layer: noodles, meat sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan.

Spray foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking and cover dish.

Can be refrigerated. If so, cover with plastic instead of foil. Then cover with sprayed foil prior to baking.

If refrigerated, bake covered for 35 minutes then remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes.

If not refrigerated, bake covered for 25 minutes then remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes.

Once out of oven, let rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Monday, January 2, 2017



2-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
5 Tablespoons Kahlua
2 Tablespoons instant coffee
4 Tablespoons Kahlua
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 packages of ladyfinger cookies
Cocoa powder
Chocolate bar

Stir coffee, the 5 Tablespoons of Kahlua instant coffee together in a baking dish.

Using stand mixer with whisk, whip egg yolks on low speed until combined. Then add sugar and salt and whip on medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice. Add the other 4 Tablespoons of Kahlua and whip on medium speed for about 30 seconds to combine. Add mascarpone and whip on medium speed until no lumps remain, about a minute. Scrape into large mixing bowl.
In the now empty mixing bowl (or use a second one) whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Then gradually increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form.

Using rubber spatula, fold 0ne-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture and then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set aside.

One at a time, quickly roll one ladyfinger at a time into coffee mixture and transfer to glass or ceramic baking dish. Do not submerge! Got to be quick! Want one layer of ladyfingers. May have to break or trim ladyfingers as needed.

Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers.

Place about 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder in a sieve and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

Repeat for another layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

Garnish with grated chocolate.

Caesar Salad Dressing

1 can of anchovies, packed in oil
2 garlic cloves
4 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil
6 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Whisk the egg yolks to break them up. Continue whisking until lemony color.

Chop the anchovies and garlic together with a pinch of kosher salt. Use side of knife to mash into paste and then whisk into the egg yolks along with the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.

While whisking the mixture, gradually add the olive oil, drop by drop. Then, slowly whisk in the vegetable oil until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in the Parmesan. Season with salt, ground pepper and more lemon juice, if needed.