strawberries (from about 4 cups/ 580 g strawberries)
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
11/4 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Unsalted butter or canola oil, for the pan
These puffy pancakes are a fixture on the brunch menu at Porsena, the Manhattan restaurant run by Sara Jenkins (Vol. 14: Prosciutto di Parma). Where normal pancake batter would get weighed down by ricotta cheese, here, beating the egg yolks and whites separately – as you would in a soufflé – makes the batter puff and rise as it cooks, yielding a very fluffy pancake with an extra-crisp exterior. Lemon – juiced into the batter and zested throughout – lightens these fluffy pancakes even further.
Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a small bowl. Add the ricotta and let it drain for 15 minutes; set aside.
In a small bowl, toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar and the lemon juice. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, the baking powder and salt.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, milk, lemon zest and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Whisk in the flour mixture until a smooth batter forms.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or bowl and handheld mixer, beat the egg whites and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar at low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium high and beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff and glossy. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.
Heat a cast-iron griddleor large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a spoonful of butter and heat until the foaming subsides. Working in batches, drop 1/3 cup (75 ml) of pancake batter onto the hot griddle and cook over medium heat until the tops of the pancakes are bubbling and slightly dry and their bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook through until browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a platter and repeat with the remaining batter.
Spoon the strawberries and their juices over the top of the pancakes, zest some lemon over the top and serve.
and VOILÁ pancakes worthy of the day!
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My dearly departed Aunt Renee, who was quite a character, was famous for many things (from her fake Louis Vuitton bags to her stories about working in the hair salon in the basement of her Brooklyn apartment building), but her chicken soup looms large. When she left us, I put an obituary in the New York Times that read simply, “I will take care of the soup.” Here it is. It is unequivocally my favorite food in the world. The small victory here is not just carrying on traditions, but also learning how to make a good chicken soup; because in doing so, you learn to make chicken stock—the backbone (no pun intended) for so many things in the kitchen. You can put a whole chicken directly in the pot, but I like to separate it so that the white meat is easy to retrieve early on and, also, the whole pot is easier to stir during cooking.
One 4-lb [1.8-kg] chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 legs), backbone reserved
1 lb [455 g] chicken wings
2 large yellow onions, unpeeled, roughly chopped
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, halved horizontally so that the cloves are exposed
A handful of fresh Italian parsley sprigs, stems reserved and leaves finely chopped
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
8 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-in [5-cm] pieces
3 qt [2.8 L] water
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-in [5-cm] pieces
A handful of roughly chopped fresh dill
In the largest pot you have, combine the chicken pieces, chicken wings, onions, celery, garlic, parsley stems, peppercorns, and 1 Tbsp salt. Add half of the carrots to the pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the top, until the chicken breasts are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.
Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts from the pot and set them aside in a bowl. Continue simmering the stock, stirring it every so often and skimming any foam that rises to the top, until everything in the pot has given up all of its structural integrity (the vegetables should be totally soft and the chicken should look well past its prime—this is all great, it means these things have given all of their flavor to the water) and the stock is a rich golden color, about 3 hours.
While the stock is simmering, let the chicken breasts cool to room temperature, and then discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones (discard the bones), and shred the meat. Set the meat aside.
Ladle the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot (or, if you don’t have another large pot, ladle it into a bowl, clean the pot you started with, and return the stock to the pot). Discard the contents of the sieve (everything in it will have given all it can by this point).
Bring the stock back to a boil and season to taste with salt (be bold, it will need quite a bit!).
Add the remaining carrots and the parsnips, lower the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the reserved chicken breast meat to the soup and let it warm up for a minute or two. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each with some of the chopped parsley and dill. Serve immediately.
Note: This soup is even better the next day. Do not discard the hardened fat that will have formed on top after the soup has been refrigerated. The rich pools of chicken fat on top of your soup are essential (at least in my book, but no hard feelings if you would rather discard the fat).
FOR ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP, leave out the parsnips and extra carrots and save the cooked chicken breasts for something else. Poach little meatballs in the soup and wilt in some chopped escarole right before serving. Each bowl should get lots of grated Parmesan cheese.
FOR THAI CHICKEN SOUP, add a crushed large piece of fresh ginger, a bunch of scallions, some cilantro stems, and a chopped chile to the broth. Adjust the water to 10 cups [2.4 L] and add a 13½-oz [398-ml] can of full-fat coconut milk. Leave out the parsnips and extra carrots and simply serve the broth with the shredded chicken. Top with sliced scallions and cilantro leaves.
My Colombian friend Luz Gerstein serves a grand meal of chicken soup known as AJIACO with assorted toppings. To serve your own, set your table with bowls of shredded chicken from the broth, fried onions, rounds of cooked corn on the cob, cubed boiled potatoes (regular and/or sweet potatoes), diced avocadoes, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges and then give every guest a large bowl of the hot chicken broth. Everyone can adorn their soup to their liking. Also put a small pitcher of cream on the table for anyone who wants to swirl a bit into their soup. This is a really fun meal, and everything can be done ahead of time.
FOR CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE SOUP, simply add whatever kinds of vegetables you like to the strained broth (with or without the parsnips and extra carrots). Add the shredded white meat or save it for something else, like chicken salad sandwiches. Some of my favorite combinations include diced beets and shredded red cabbage (stunning!), finely diced leeks and roughly chopped potatoes, and shredded Savoy cabbage with chopped tomatoes (serve with grated Parmesan).
This recipe is extracted from Small Victories by Julia Turshen.
“I can’t wait to cook my way through this amazing new book,” Ina Garten writes in the foreword to this cookbook of more than 400 recipes and variations from Julia Turshen, writer, go-to recipe developer, co-author for best-selling cook- books such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, Mario Batali’s Spain…on the Road Again, and Dana Cowin’s Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen.
The process of truly great home cooking is demystified via more than a hundred lessons called out as “small victories” in the funny, encouraging headnotes; these are lessons learned by Julia through a lifetime of cooking thousands of meals. This beautifully curated, deeply personal collection of what Chef April Bloomfield calls “simple, achievable recipes” emphasises bold-flavoured, honest food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. More than 160 mouth-watering photographs from acclaimed photographers Gentl + Hyers provide beautiful instruction and inspiration, and a gingham spine elevates this entertaining and essential kitchen resource into a covetable gift for both beginners and accomplished home cooks.
Celebrate National Cookie Day with a Christmasy treat from the Cookie Advent Cookbook.
4 Tbsp [55 g] unsalted butter
1 cup [100 g] firmly packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup [60 ml] light corn syrup
1⁄2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup [140 g] sifted all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp brandy
Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Have ready a wooden spoon with a long, round handle for shaping the cookies.
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and ginger, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugar have melted and all the ingredients are combined, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and brandy. The batter will be medium-thick.
Spoon a heaping 1 tsp of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter into a circle about 3 inches [7.5 cm] in diameter. Repeat, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches [5 cm] apart. Make only four cookies at a time, because they must be hot when they are rolled.
Bake in the center of the oven just until the cookies begin to firm up, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Working quickly and using a spatula, lift a cookie from the cookie sheet and wrap it in a spiral around the handle of the wooden spoon. Let cool for 20 seconds, then slide the cookie off the spoon handle onto a wire rack to cool completely. (If the cookies harden too much to remove them from the cookie sheet and shape them, return the cookie sheet to the oven for about 1 minute. They will soften again.) Repeat with the remaining batter, regreasing the cookie sheet as necessary.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20 cookies
This recipe is an extract from Cookie Advent Cookbook: With 24 festive recipes by Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt
Inspired by the Cookie Advent held every December at Chronicle Books, here is a unique twist on the traditional Advent calendar. Starting on December 1 through Christmas Eve, the cover of the book invites readers to peek under an ornament flap to discover the cookie of the day—then turn the pages to find the appropriate recipe. Beginner and experienced bakers alike will enjoy these simple recipes for beautifully decorated homemade cookies counting down to December 25. With its mix of familiar and global Christmas treats and entirely new ones, this festive calendar and cookbook will create new cookie-baking traditions, bringing tidings of great family and community joy.
Grab that apron and make yourself a true British classic – Venison and Beef Pie.
Venison and Beef Pie
The best wild-shot venison comes from Scotland, so it’s not surprising that Scottish-born chefs, like Jeremy Lee of Quo Vadis in London, like to use the meat in their savory pies, as in this recipe. American cooks don’t have access to domestically shot wild venison unless they hunt it themselves. The alternatives are meat from Asian deer species raised and slaughtered by Broken Arrow Ranch, a huge game preserve in Texas, or that imported from New Zealand and sometimes Scotland, usually frozen but occasionally fresh in season.
3 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
1¾ pounds (800 g) venison, cut into large pieces
⅔ pound (300 g) beef brisket, cut into large chunks
2 red onions, sliced
1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 10 to 12 pieces
12 ounces (340 g) puff pastry, store-bought (thawed, if frozen) or homemade
1 large egg, beaten
Heat half the oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet with a cover over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the venison and the brisket, turning the pieces frequently with tongs until they are well browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Set the meat aside as it is done.
Add the rest of the oil to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the bacon and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Season generously with salt and pepper, then add the bay leaf and stir in the red currant jelly and the wine.
Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, return the meat to the pot, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Spoon the meat into four individual baking dishes or one large one.
If using individual dishes, divide the puff pastry into four equal parts and roll out each part to form a round just large enough to fit over the top of a baking dish. If using one large baking dish, roll out the puff pastry to form a round just large enough to fit over its top. Gently lay to pastry over the top of each baking dish. Decorate the pastry with any trimmings, if you like. Make a small hole in the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape, then brush the beaten egg over the top.
Bake the pies or pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (175ºC) and bake for 30 minutes more, or until the pastry has risen and turned golden brown.
This recipe was extracted from The British Table by Colman Andrews, published by Abrams | Out now.
The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Walescelebrates the best of British cuisine old and new. Drawing on a vast number of sources both historical and modern, the book includes more than 125 recipes, from traditional regional specialties to modern gastropub reinventions of rustic fare. Dishes like chicken pie, mackerel with sorrel sauce and a pastry shop full of simple, irresistible desserts have found their way onto modern British menus—delicious reminders of the depth and breadth of Britain’s culinary heritage. The book blends these tradition-based reinventions, by some of the finest chefs in England, Scotland and Wales, with forgotten dishes of the past worthy of rediscovery.
Adapted from a recipe I found in an issue of Martha Stewart Living years ago, these sweet and buttery biscuits are always a hit with the extended family at Thanksgiving but are also a staple at my house year-round. I serve them with cranberry butter, which is just 1/4 cup (60 ml) cranberry sauce blended in a food processor with 1/4 cup (55 g) softened butter. I almost always double the recipe and freeze half the biscuit dough, cut out and arranged on parchment-lined trays then sealed in a freezer bag. On a night when I need something to go with a pot of soup, I can pull them out of the freezer and bake as few or as many as I need.
Makes 18 small biscuits
1 pound (455 g) sweet potatoes or yams
(1 large potato is usually sufficient)
21/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk or cream
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205°C).
Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them directly on a rack in the oven. Bake until soft to the touch, about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely. Slice the potatoes in half, scoop the flesh from the skin, and pass it through a food mill or potato ricer (or use a potato masher—you want a nice even mash, not a gummy puree). You should have about 2 scant cups (scant 480 ml) of mash. Stir together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or use your fingers) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix the milk with the sweet potato mash and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Mix the dough, just to incorporate (I use my hands). If the dough is really sticky, add a touch more flour.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat or roll it out into a ½-inch (12-mm) thick round. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass. I find that smaller biscuits cook more evenly, so I keep them around 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter (for Thanksgiving, I share my love with a heart-shaped cutter). Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake until the biscuits rise and are slightly brown, 10 to 12 minutes (bake longer for larger or frozen biscuits). Serve warm.
This recipe was extracted from A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart by Maria Vettese and Stephanie Barnes, published by Abrams| Out Now.
So you have eggs in your fridge, but you don’t want an omelette? How about trying your hand at making a souffle?
MAKES 4 T O 6 SERVINGS
French cookbooks and years of whipping egg whites would suggest that there’s nothing “country” about the soufflé. But in the mind of Libbie Summers (Vol. 12: Brown Sugar), this dish has all the flavors of the country breakfasts she grew up on: pork from her grandmother’s farm, eggs, butter and a dash of mustard. The only difference is the treatment of the eggs, which, when separated, whipped and reunited, become an extraordinarily light and visually arresting dish.
Our hope is that by serving soufflés for breakfast, the technique for making them will lose some of its haughtiness, and soufflés can be embraced with relaxation. At least, that’s what we’ll be telling ourselves as we pace back and forth in front of the oven waiting for ours to rise (old habits die hard).
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (65 g) finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF (190°C). Coat the inside of a 1½-quart (1.4-L) soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and dust with 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.
Arrange the pancetta in a large cold skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until browned and crispy, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked pancetta to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Return the skillet (with the rendered pancetta fat) to the stove and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and stir into the pancetta fat. Whisk in the flour and cook until the roux is bubbling and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, add the milk in a steady stream. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes longer, whisking constantly.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard and the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan; season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, then whisk in the pancetta. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Beat at medium speed until foamy. Turn off the mixer and add the cream of tartar. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and the whites are smooth and shiny, 1 to 2 minutes.
Whisk about 1 cup (240 ml) of the egg whites into the yolk mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared soufflé dish (the mixture will fill the dish) and bake until golden brown and puffed, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
The ethos behind Short Stack Editions is simple: Pair beloved ingredients with advice from trusted culinary experts to create inspired recipes home cooks can’t wait to use. For their first large-format cookbook, Short Stack calls on their acclaimed contributor list—IACP and James Beard award-winning cookbook authors, chefs, food writers and more—to create brand-new recipes destined to become favourites. Organised by ingredient, The Short Stack Cookbook presents kitchen staples as you have never seen them before and offers new ways to cook with everyday items. The collection retains the original Short Stack booklets’ handmade aesthetic and beloved style, offering a colourful, covetable, must-have gift for design-minded home cooks.
Picture this, it is Monday night and you really want Mac and Cheese for dinner, but who has time to make Mac and Cheese on a Monday? All that washing-up? No thank you. Now, what if I told you, you could make Mac and Smoked Gouda with Swiss Chard and Horseradish Crumbs in one pan. Yup, one pan. That can mean only one thing, Carla Snyder is back with a brand new cookbook:One Pan, Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers, the cookbook to solve your mid-week meals (and mess).
Now, go forth and fill that mac and cheese hole!
Mac and Smoked Gouda with Swiss Chard and Horseradish Crumbs
START TO FINISH 40 minutes
HANDS-ON TIME 20 minutes
Oh, mac and cheese, how many ways do we love thee? In this rendition, we foster mac’s smoky side with smoked Gouda and pique his spicy side with horseradish-laced crunchy saltines. To make things even better, you don’t have to boil the pasta. It cooks right in the sauce. Genius.
Heat a 12-in [30.5-cm] oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, and melt the 4 Tbsp [55 g] butter. When the butter sizzles, add the onion and sauté until it softens, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard, 1/2 tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper and sauté until the chard leaves wilt, about 3 minutes.
Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the milk, half-and-half, and mustard and cook, stirring and scraping up any flour that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the Gouda and cook, stirring, until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth and macaroni, pressing down to make sure the pasta is submerged in the liquid. Cover the pan with aluminum foil or an oven-safe lid, transfer to the oven, and bake until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the saltines, horseradish, and 1 Tbsp melted butter.
Remove the pasta from the oven, remove the foil, and sprinkle the saltine mixture over the top. Carefully move the oven rack to the second highest position and preheat the broiler. Broil until the topping is browned, about 2 minutes.
Scoop the pasta into heated bowls. Serve hot. (Or, if you want it to stay really hot, just place the pan on the table and eat with two forks like my husband and I do.)
It’s that easy: It would be so simple to sub out just about any cheese in your fridge for the smoked Gouda. The important thing is that it’s good cheese (no low-fat versions need apply). Try using white Cheddar, Gruyère, Jarlsberg, or go ahead and toss some Parmesan in the mix for good measure.
It’s not likely you’ll need any more food with this meal, but if you’re looking for something to serve on the side, add some crispy, cold dill pickle spears. The sour flavor is a great contrast with the richness of this dish. In the glass: An off-dry Riesling from Jacob’s Creek works perfectly with the rich and smoky cheese.
Recipe from One Pan, Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers
Is there anything better than melted cheese and bread?
A Mac ‘n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese. We know. Mind Blowing!
This sandwich has blown many a ten-year-old’s mind. “Mac ’n’ cheese . . . in a grilled cheese!?!” It sounds a little crazy, but it’s a lot delicious. Because the rich mac filling is chilled in a thin layer on a baking sheet, the recipe isn’t easily scaled down to one or two servings; but you don’t need to use all the mac at once. Well-wrapped, it will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer, so portion it individually and blow minds at your own pace.
MAC ’N’ CHEESE
8 oz [230 g] elbow, spiral, or other short pasta
of your choice
⅓ cup [40 g] all-purpose flour
¾ tsp dry mustard powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp [85 g] salted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups [360 ml] whole milk
1 cup [240 ml] heavy cream
1 lb [455 g] cheese (any combination of Monterey
Jack, Cheddar, Colby, fontina, or Gouda), shredded
4 Tbsp [55 g] salted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp garlic powder
16 slices square sourdough, whole-wheat, or other
sandwich loaf bread
8 slices mild, medium, or sharp Cheddar cheese
8 slices Monterey Jack or Colby Jack cheese
1) To make the mac ’n’ cheese: Bring a medium saucepan of generously salted water (so it tastes like seawater) to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and stir immediately. Boil the pasta, stirring occasionally, just until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes or according to the package directions (the pasta should be tender but still chewy, not mushy). Drain the pasta in a colander and set aside.
2) While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and set aside.
3) Put the empty pasta pan (no need to wash it) over low heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour mixture. Cook, whisking often, until the mixture is beginning to brown and has a pleasant, nutty aroma, about 1 minute. Watch carefully so it does not burn.
4) Slowly whisk the milk and cream into the butter-flour mixture, combining well. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is heated through and just begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese gradually while stirring constantly in one direction with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce, then stir in the cooked pasta.
5) Line a 9-by-13-in [23-by-33‑cm] rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil, in a pinch). Coat the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray, then pour the warm mac ’n’ cheese into the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula. Coat another piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and place, oiled-side down, directly on the surface of the mac ’n’ cheese. Refrigerate until cool and firm, about 1 hour.
6) Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
7) In a small bowl, stir together the 4 Tbsp [55 g] butter and garlic powder until well blended. Set aside.
8) Remove the mac ’n’ cheese from the refrigerator and peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Carefully cut into eight equal pieces.
9) Spread ¾ tsp of the garlic butter on one side of each bread slice. Place half of the slices, butteredside down, on a clean cutting board. Top each with one slice of Cheddar, then one piece of the mac ’n’ cheese. (Transfer from the baking sheet by scooting your hand or a spatula under each piece of mac ’n’ cheese and then flipping it over onto a sandwich.) Place one slice of Jack on top of each. Finish with the remaining bread slices, buttered-side up.
10) Using a wide spatula, place as many sandwiches in the pan as will fit without crowding, cover, and cook until the bottoms are nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the second sides are browned, the cheese is melted, and the mac ’n’ cheese is heated through, about 4 minutes longer.
11) Cut the sandwiches in half, if desired, and serve. Repeat to cook the remaining sandwiches.
Do something different this Pancake Day, go bigger than lemon & sugar.
Try your hand at a Dutch Baby Pancake!
SERVES 2 TO 4, DEPENDING ON THEIR HUNGER LEVEL
The very first time I heard about a Dutch baby pancake was on trash television. I’m not one to watch much television, but when I was a high school student, any excuse to procrastinate on studying was welcome. In the midst of the scripted hullaballoo on screen one evening, the characters enjoyed a Dutch baby pancake—a sweet, popover-like . . . well, pancake. It is simple and comes together quickly in a bowl (or in a blender, if you don’t mind noise in the morning). The batter isn’t sweet, so if you prefer a sweet pancake, add as much sugar as you’d like to the ingredients; I think 3 Tbsp should be sufficient to please any sweet tooth. It’s fantastic served as a normal pancake, with a dotting of butter and a thick lacing of amber maple syrup. Or try it with butter and jam, or eat it like a crêpe, with wedges of lemon and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1/2 cup/120 ml milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup/60 g all-purpose flour
Heaping 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Put a large cast-iron skillet in the oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt until they’re light in color. Whisk in the milk and vanilla. Vigorously whisk in the flour and sugar until all lumps are gone, about 20 seconds.
Carefully remove the cast-iron skillet from the oven. (Remember to put an oven mitt on before handling the hot pan—I’ve forgotten to do so, and it’s very painful!) Add the butter to the pan. Allow the butter to melt, and cajole it around and up the sides of the pan with a pastry brush (I prefer to use a heat-resistant silicone pastry brush to do this).
Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center is set and the edges are puffed and a lovely light golden brown.
Using a silicone spatula, remove the Dutch Baby from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack for 3 minutes. Immediately slice it up and dole it out.
For a quicker method, get out a blender to mix the batter; however, as I’ve mentioned in other recipes, I always find an excuse to avoid the clamor of powerful kitchen machinery early in the morning. If you do get lumps in your batter with the mixing method explained in this recipe, simply run everything through a sieve—lumps begone!
You don’t need a cast-iron skillet to make this recipe. You can simply use a 9-in/23-cm cake pan or a skillet with an ovenproof handle. If you’re using a cake pan, put it on a rimmed baking sheet to make transporting it in and out of the oven easy.
This recipe is from Hand Made Baking by Kamran Siddiqi.
Get a little creative with your Brunch this weekend. How about Poached Eggs, Asparagus, and Chorizo?
Poached eggs set atop a mound of sleek asparagus spears, garnished with crispy bits of Spanish chorizo and toasted bread crumbs, make a simple yet impressive morning entrée. The sausage and bread crumbs contrast with the tender asparagus as well as with the soft eggs with their runny, sauce-like yolks.
1½ tbsp olive oil
½ cup/30 g coarse fresh bread crumbs (see cooking tip)
4 oz/115 g Spanish chorizo cut into ½-in/
12-mm cubes (use the Spanish-style chorizo in casing, not loose Mexican-style chorizo)
1¼ lb/680 g medium asparagus
1 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 tbsp white or cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil until hot in a medium, heavy frying pan set over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, tossing constantly, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the crumbs to a plate. (Crumbs can be prepared
1 hour ahead; cover and leave at room temperature.)
Heat the remaining ½ tbsp oil in the same frying pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the chorizo and stir until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. (Chorizo can be prepared 1 hour ahead; leave at room temperature.)
Trim and discard 2 to 3 in/5 to 7.5 cm of the tough bases of the asparagus spears. Add the asparagus and 1 tsp salt to a large frying pan filled halfway with simmering water. Cook until the spears are just tender, 4 minutes. Drain and toss the asparagus in a large bowl with the butter and lemon juice. Season with salt and cover with foil.
Bring a large frying pan filled halfway with water to a boil. Add the vinegar and gently break each egg into a saucer and slide it into the water. Swirl the water with a wooden spoon while the eggs are cooking. Cook until the eggs are just set but the yolks are still soft, 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. (If you have an egg poacher, cook according to the manufacturer’s directions until the eggs are set.)
Mound some asparagus spears on each of four dinner plates. Top each serving with a poached egg and sprinkle with the chorizo and bread crumbs. Season the eggs with several grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt and serve.
To make bread crumbs, use a 1- to 2-day-old good-quality peasant or country bread with crusts removed. Process large chunks of it in a food processor to make coarse crumbs. Sourdough bread works particularly well.