Alsatian Apple Tart With Brown Butter Ice Cream

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We live on an old apple orchard in a small town, 30 minutes east of Seattle. All that remains of this orchard on our property are 6 ancient apple trees of indeterminate variety that are quite literally on their last legs. Each year during apple season I’m always amazed how much fruit these very neglected trees produce and while I promise myself that this will be the year to rent a cider press, or can applesauce, I’m never quite able to get ahead of the hungry animals that show up each night to feast on their bounty.

The trees have their issues, covered in moss and blight, left unpruned and largely ignored, they soldier on, despite everything. When September arrives the deer come to dine on whatever has fallen to the ground, and the bears climb on the brittle limbs breaking them in their efforts to reach the fruit highest in the tree.

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One very large and determined bear, pushed a neighbors 30+ year old tree to the ground last weekend, uprooting it cleanly and picking it clean. I could only think to myself, that that bear must be incredibly large and very, hungry.. It was a good reminder to us that while fun to look at out our window, black bears are incredibly dangerous and brutally strong animals.

The neighbor at the end of our road had an Alpaca that was horribly mauled by a bear earlier this summer. Shocking to everyone, as the woods that border our properties are thick with berries, and the streams full of fish. It is all part and parcel of living in the country, and we take it in stride. All of us in our neighborhood do our part to prevent bears from getting into garbage, or feeling too welcome near people.

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So in an effort to beat the bears, I made it my mission to pick as many apples that I could reasonably use this week, and decided that they would be a perfect addition to among other things, this Alsatian Apple Tart. This tart recipe comes from the new and beautiful cookbook, Taste of Washington: Favorite Recipes from the Evergreen State, written by  chef, and food writer Michele Morris. Last month Michele was gracious enough to send a copy of the book to me and I was thrilled to receive it.

Bursting with fantastic recipes from Washington State restaurants and chefs the book is simply outstanding. Using regional and seasonal ingredients many of the recipes highlight the unique and very best of Pacific Northwest cuisine. Gorgeous recipes, like Geoduck Saute, Baked Halibut with Morels, Ramps and Smoked Bacon Butter Sauce, Crispy Walla Walla Sweet Onions, and one particular recipe that I can’t wait to try, Pine and Spruce Smoked Salmon with Clam, Parsley and Lime Chowder.

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I’m equally thrilled to get the chance to meet Michele this weekend at the International Food Bloggers Conference  here in Seattle. This conference will be my first. After blogging for more than 3 years I’ve decided it’s time to attend a conference and I couldn’t be more happy that it’s one hosted right in my own backyard. I’m planning on wearing my comfy pants this weekend as I’m sure I’ll be eating, eating, eating.  I can hardly wait!  I’ll be sure to fill you all in on how it went next week.

I must say the apples from my trees tasted especially fantastic in this tart. Made all the better due to the fact that I was able to beat the bears to get them. Tart, firm and the perfect foil for the deliciously flaky crust and can I just say, Brown Butter Ice Cream?? Smokes.. Buttery, slightly lemony and definitely made to go with this tart.

 I received a free copy of this cookbook but no compensation for this post.  All opinions stated are my own.

  • Alsatian Apple Tart with Brown Butter Ice Cream
  • Recipe used with permission from Farcountry Press and Michele Morris
Servings
8

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

For the Tart:
  1. For the Tart: Cream the butter, cheese, and salt together in a mixer or food processor. Add the flour and mix or pulse just until the dough comes together into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a thin round disk.
  2. Press the dough into an 11 " tart pan with a removable bottom, carefully pressing the dough evenly up the edges. Trim off any excess dough and place the tart on a baking sheet.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Place the apples into the tart shell, overlapping as you go, as the apples with shrink while they bake. Sprinkle with the 2 Tbsp. sugar and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon and pour over the apples in the tart. Return the tart to the oven and cook until the custard is set, 45-50 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing and serving. Top tart with brown butter ice cream and garnish with salted caramel sauce. * I brushed the tart with 3 T. apricot jam, heated for 1 minute in the microwave, to provide extra shine.
For the Ice Cream
  1. Heat a small pan of medium-high heat, melt the butter, and continue cooking until browned, about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the milk solids. Cool the butter slightly, and then strain and discard the solids.
  2. Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and heat to scalding. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together, and then add the butter, salt, and lemon juice and mix until incorporated. Whisk the hot milk into the yolks a little at a time until fully mixed. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon about 5 minutes. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  3. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions, and then transfer to a covered container and freeze completely in the freezer.

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Caramelized Squash, Wild Rice and Kale Salad

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To say I have a thing for grain and vegetable salads is an understatement. I’ve always been a fan salads that combine grains of any kind with your typical salad fare. Recently, as part of my Oxbow Farms CSA box I received the most beautiful bunch of Lacinto Kale, along with some other equally gorgeous veg and knew that a salad of some sort would definitely be in the making.

Massaged kale salads have been getting a lot of attention lately, for good reason and while lately I’ve been craving a big ole bowl of  kale and white bean soup, I wanted to try my hand at something a bit different. In an effort to be better at using what food I have on hand I began rummaging through my cupboards and the freezer for items I could incorporate in the salad.

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The wealth of riches I unearthed while hunting, was a bit embarrassing. A packet of beautiful Idaho grown wild rice, frozen Jarradale squash from last fall, creamy blue cheese and dried cranberries and a ridiculously expensive bottle of maple syrup, all found their way into this salad. In the process I realized how I’ve completely failed at the art of making do. I’m vowing now to do better and waste less.  No small feat for a food blogger, I know but something to strive for anyway. So into the oven went squash, oil and maple syrup. It emerged crisped, caramelized and begging me to shove my face in it. But I persevered.

The kale, I massaged with oil and a clove of garlic, something I wouldn’t recommend if you have to be anywhere or impress anyone afterward. Despite a thorough hand washing I had this lingering aroma of garlic hovering around me for the remainder of the day, and well I’m sure an apology is in order if I ran into you that day.  So, sorry..  Definitely add some garlic, just not BEFORE you massage the kale. After. Absolutely after.

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The rest of the salad assembly is super easy. Make the wild rice, crumble the cheese and throw it all on a plate. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, vow to do more cooking just like this and enjoy.

No compensation was provided for this post. *Oxbow Farm graciously provided me with a box of beautiful produce. All opinions are my own. This post is part of the ongoing #theoxbowboxproject which links local Seattle bloggers and Oxbow Farm, to create recipes using seasonal and sustainable ingredients. More information on Oxbow Farm can be found HERE.

  • Caramelized Squash, Wild Rice and Kale Salad
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4 30 minutes 45 minutes

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the diced squash on a rimmed baking sheet and cover with 1 T. of the oil. Stir with your hands to cover the squash completely. Drizzle over the maple syrup, stir again and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until squash is golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a piece of parchment paper to cool. Set aside.
  2. While the squash bakes, prepare the rice. Place the rice and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
  3. After you get the rice going, add the kale to a large bowl and drizzle on the remaining 1 T. olive oil. Begin by massaging the kale for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic clove and stir. Set aside and let the oil and garlic do their magic.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, divide it evenly amongst 4 plates, top with the kale, squash, cheese and dried cranberries. Sprinkle over additional salt and pepper if desired.

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Carrot Cake Spoon Breads

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One of the most wonderful things about living in the Seattle area is our proximity to fantastic small farms and outstanding farmers markets. Despite the fact that we are not blessed with a particularly long growing season, these places flourish and are highly sought after here.  In large part I think this has to do with educated consumers, outstanding restaurants demanding fresh and local produce, and an abundance of areas and organizations dedicated to the preservation and conservation of farmland.

Oxbow Farm is once such place. Located in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley, a few short miles from my home, Oxbow prides itself on providing outstanding produce, educating the public on the importance of sustainability and encouraging the people to reconnect with the land and learn more about environmental stewardship.

I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. I was first introduced to Oxbow when I visited the farmers market in Carnation years ago after moving to our small community. So when they contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to cook my way through one of their Oxbow CSA Project Boxes and share my experiences with you, I jumped at the chance.

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Gorgeous carrots, zucchini, kale, cabbage, cucumbers, beans, broccoli and lettuces all arrived in my box. Unpacking it was a bit like Christmas morning.  Everything so beautiful, fresh and ripe with promise.  My mind was literally a whirring mess of ideas and anticipation.  I cooked my way through the box while we were on vacation at my mother in laws, house as I knew that farm fresh produce needs to be cooked quickly. No hardship there.

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Look for more recipes highlighting the produce I received in the next few days and if you live locally please do yourself a favor and check out OXBOW FARM on the web. And if you are a blogger attending IFBC this year, you’ll be able to find them there as well.

These little carrot cakes are amazing with out too much fuss, but make them with farm fresh carrots and a big ole dollop of cream cheese frosting or creme fraiche and they become astronomically good. Warm from the oven is pretty much a necessity too.

  • Carrot Cake Spoon Breads
  • Recipe adapted Jody William's "Buvette, the Pleasure of Good Food"
Servings
10

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

For the cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 10 small ramekins, and set aside. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the carrots. Cook until they are soft, around 10-15 minutes. Drain and mash.
  2. In a bowl, combine the carrots with the oil, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together, then add the wet. Combine thoroughly.
  3. Spoon equal portions of the batter into the ramekins. Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly and serve with a large dollop of frosting on top.
For the frosting
  1. Combine the cream cheese and the confectioners sugar in a small bowl using a hand mixer. Mix until fluffy and light. Set aside.

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Haloumi Caprese Sandwiches

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Lately my love of sliders and small little party food type bites has taken on dimensions of epic proportions. I don’t know whether it’s just the fact that I can sample multiple things in one go or if it’s just the inherent cuteness of small food, but whatever it is, it’s awesome. To call these Haloumi Caprese beauties sliders, could conceivably be a stretch but to call them OMG amazing definitely is not.

This recipe comes from the stunningly beautiful cookbook easy gourmet, AWESOME RECIPES anyone CAN COOK by Stephanie Le, author of the equally gorgeous, Saveur award winning,  i am a food blog.   Every time I visit her blog I walk away inspired by her great recipes, beautiful aesthetic and always, always hungry. Stephanie’s book, like her blog is full of crisp, light-filled photos, and delicious and approachable recipes that really are easy to make. Each gorgeous recipe, is uncomplicated, unfussy and yet has just that something extra that makes it feel special. It will definitely be a book I reach for again and again.

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In the short time since I’ve received Stephanie’s book, it’s already covered in food splatters, dogeared and hopelessly drowning in a sea of sticky notes. The Bottomless Pits (i.e. the boys) already have requested no fewer than 9 of her recipes for our upcoming dinner rotation, specifically French Onion Grilled Cheese, Curry Chicken Pot Pie and Porchetta and Salsa Verde Sliders to name a few.  The book is truly a joy to cook from and definitely lives up to it’s name of being easy and awesome.

As we are connoisseurs of chicken waffles, Stephanie’s recipe  for them was the first we made and it does not disappoint. Drizzled in syrup, honey (our addition) and sprinkled with salt we rolled them up and ate them taco style like she suggests and it was amazing.. Crispy, fluffy, salty and sweet, yeah..

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These sandwiches would make the perfect tailgate food, easy to prepare and assemble or if you’d rather have a bit more, you could just prepare them on a larger bun. Haloumi cheese, in case you don’t know, is a salty Mediterranean cheese with a high melting point that fries up beautifully leaving it crispy on the outside and gooey and gorgeous on the in. I highly recommend assembling them quickly and eating the sandwiches while the cheese is till warm from the pan.

Stephanie’s recipe calls for a simple to make, balsamic vinegar reduction to drizzle over the top of the tomatoes and basil before assembly, and as tomatoes are amazing right now you know they’ll just rock the recipe with gorgeous in season flavor.  Just make sure what ever you do, you drizzle over enough balsamic glaze that when you it eat it drips down your chin. You won’t be sorry.

GIVEAWAY DEETS

Because you are amazing and Page St. Publishing wants you to have a copy of Stephanie’s book, they are giving away a free copy!  All you have to do to be eligible, is to leave a comment below saying hello or telling me about your favorite tailgating food.

Rules: One winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends September 17th, at 6 a.m. Western Pacific Time. Enter as many times as you would like! Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

***This post contains affiliate links.***

  • Haloumi Caprese
  • by Stephanie Le from Easy Gourmet: Awesome Recipes Anyone Can Cook printed with permission of Page St. Publishing
Servings
2

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. METHOD: In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until it is thick and syrupy, about 2-4 minutes.
  2. Pat the haloumi cheese dry with paper towels. Add to a cold pan, turn the heat up to medium and grill until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Toast your buns or bread and drizzle with the reduced balsamic and some olive oil. Place the grilled haloumi on the bottom slice and top with tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and bread. Enjoy immediately.

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Shrimp and Elotes Tacos

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These tacos are really one of my most favorite new taco creations. Creamy, buttery, spicy, and herby, they hit all of the requisite killer taco requirements AND they’re a cinch to make.. I’ve long been a fan of Chez Us and it’s lovely author Denise Woodward, so when she asked me to participate in a guest post for her fantastic Taco Tuesday’s I couldn’t resist.

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Come summer time we are crazy corn addicts in this household, so as we’ve come to eat more and more Elotes lately,  it just seemed the next natural step to put all that corny goodness in a tortilla along with some spicy shrimp and call it amazing.  And it is. Whoa. Elotes, also known as Mexican street corn, is a gorgeous thing in and of itself. Charred corn, slathered in melted butter and mayonnaise, topped with a spicy chili pepper mix then some salty delicious queso fresco or cotija cheese.  Gah.

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This sort of dinner is really a fantastic one for busy schedules too, as it’s really only just prepping and making the corn and a quick sauté of the shrimp in a grill pan. You can have it made and ready to consume in literally less than 30 minutes, with minimal clean up.

Head on over to Chez Us for the recipe and say hi to Denise while you are there. Also be sure to check out all of her other gorgeous Taco Tuesday recipes and file some away for later. You won’t regret it at all. You can also find Denise on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and G+.

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Kalua Pork 4 Ways

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Well school starts a week from today, and we are already in the thick of a manic dash for accumulating school supplies, acquiring new tennis shoes, filling out endless paperwork and attempting to get to bed early so our o’dark thirty wake ups won’t be drama ridden nightmares come D-day.  Preparation and planning are not my strong suits as I’m sure I’m late to the game on all of this, but I’m trying.

Both of my boys are in high school this year. My oldest, a junior, is starting to sweat his scheduling blips that have suddenly reared their ugly heads and have yet to be resolved, and my youngest, a freshman, will look at me and give me a weak half smile when I ask him if he’s feels excited about heading to the big H.S. I think back to those days and remember the stress and nervousness I felt.. That stomach churning, out of sorts anxiety that comes with big changes, new beginnings and an end to long beautiful summer days is difficult to handle. If you think about it, it’s like going directly from  a long vacation to starting a different job every year with 6 or 7 new bosses. Yeah. They have my total sympathy.

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In an effort to do my part and help the transition be as smooth as possible for them, I plan on making the first week of school dinners ones that I know they will love and look forward to. My lovely friend Kim (Hi Kim!) introduced me to Kalua Pig a few years ago and I have to say it rocked my world. The boys think it’s the best thing since sliced bread and Xbox.  It’s the easiest thing in the world to prepare, and the recipe makes so much pork, that if you are judicious and can keep your paws out of eating it all you can have several meals ready to go with just a few additional ingredients.

The best part, it’s a slow cook meal. Plunk the pork, salt and liquid smoke in the crock pot on low for 9 hours and boom. Your done..

These lettuce wraps are possibly my favorite way to eat Kalua pork, but they go equally well in Smoked Pork Enchiladas (a fantastic recipe inspired by another lovely friend, Teri), Tortilla Soup and on a Hawaiian Smoked Pork Pizza.

I’ve posted this recipe and all the others over on the Issaquah Press Recipe Box page. So head on over and give it a look!

I may need to have a little liquid therapy with some girlfriends next week, to you know, recover from this one and celebrate the kids going back so, I’m thinking a cocktail post coming up soon is definitely in order..  I’ll let you know how it goes.

And on a wholly different note:

**I try to stay away from being preachy here, but I feel pretty strongly about the quality of pork I purchase. The more I learn about the ways in which conventional pork is raised and slaughtered the more I urge everyone to buy natural, humanely raised, local animals. It is more costly yes, and I realize not everyone can afford to go that route, but try to buy the best quality you can. It not only tastes better, but it’s simply the right thing to do..

Blue and Blackberry Ginger Pie

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The other day I was looking over my history of recipes on the blog and realized I had seriously neglected pie. A travesty of epic proportions to be sure and one that I needed to remedy stat. Despite the need to share, this post has been lingering on my computer for a while now and for some reason I’ve just struggled to make the words come. So much is happening in the world right now, so much sadness, so many acts of grave injustice here at home and around the world, sickness, death, so much tragedy and sorrow. Writing my thoughts on summer and pies seems a bit trite to me.

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Whenever I make a pie, I think of my grandmother. She a maker of epic pies, had the art of comfort through food, down to a science. A diabetic at 50, she was always a spare and careful eater, but come Sunday dinner there was without fail a warm from the oven fruit pie on the counter for dessert. She knew what most of us know now, that tradition, simple food, lovingly prepared is at the heart of what makes us and keeps us sane. It keeps us tied to the beautiful, the wholesome, the best of our humanity.  It crosses bridges and great divides and allows us the privilege to be at peace if but for a moment.

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I so wish I could treat all the ills and evils of the world, by serving up a piece of pie and along with it the goodness that is inherent in it. How lovely it would be to reach the hardhearted, the dogmatic and the haters with a simple reminder of the beauty and kindness that can be found in the world.  Naive in the extreme, but a wish nonetheless. The amount of bad news lately is discouraging, defeating and at times If find myself overwhelmed. In the midst of it all though I still hope that people will remember. Remember what it means to be human, that we all deserve a place, a world that’s beautiful, wholesome, just and safe.

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*A note on this pie. Blackberries and blueberries are at their peak in the Northwest right now and go perfectly together here. A hit of crystalized ginger brings everything beautifully together under a buttery flaky crust.  I like my pies a bubbly, homely mess. The uglier the better really,  so if you aren’t a fan of a large amount of filling bubbling through, feel free to cut down on the berries a bit.

  • Blue and Blackberry Ginger Pie
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
8 40 minutes 60 minutes

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

Prepare the crust:
  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, butter and salt. Pulse until combined and the mixture looks like coarse meal.
  2. With the motor running, slowly add the ice water and mix until just combined. Dump mixture out on to work surface (will be crumbly) and mix until incorporated.
  3. Divide in half, press into flat circles and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the berries and all remaining ingredients except the butter in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Roll out dough on a floured work surface in two large rounds. Line a 9" deep dish pie plate with one. Cut 8, 1" strips from the other round. Re-rolling if necessary. Pour filling into the bottom crust, dot with the diced butter, and top with four strips of crust, weave into a lattice. Brush top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with some sugar if desired. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 375 for the remaining 40 minutes, or until the juices bubble and the crust turns golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool before slicing.

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Lychee Grapefruit Martini

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For the longest time I’ve been intrigued with Lychees.  A few years ago I spied them in the market when they were in season and without thought I snatched up two punnets and carried them happily home. I had no idea what I was going to do with them (other than eat them out of hand) but that was really an insignificant matter in my mind.  I was ridiculously thrilled with my purchase and savoring the fruit hoarding high I get periodically when I find something special.

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Their scaly, dullish red skins are like no other fruit I’ve known and at first glance you would be hard pressed to think anything delicious could live under it’s textural, almost desiccated casing. The fruit inside is nothing short of heavenly. Sweet but not overly so, fragrant and ever so slightly floral. They beg to be added to cocktails.

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So this summer, I’ve been doing exactly that. My go to drink of choice has been a shaken lychee martini made with the smallest amount of vermouth, lychee syrup  and vodka with a  lychee or two added for garnish. In my humble opinion the best way to enjoy a lychee is by eating a fresh one. However they are in season for a short time and if you live in an area where you simply cannot get them, canned lychees are the best way to go.  Besides, you will need that glorious lychee syrup to make this drink, and you can easily find them at most Asian markets.

Lychee Grapfruit Martinis 4

If you can get both go for it. Fresh lychees are way more fragrant; once canned they lose a bit of their florally freshy goodness, but are still really really lovely. For this recipe I thought I’d change up my usual method and throw in some freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and leave out the vermouth. The juice adds a nice, citrusy component to the cocktail without making it too sweet.  I find I’m preferring my cocktails less sweet and more complex in flavors lately, but if you prefer sweeter, just add less grapefruit juice and more lychee syrup.


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  • Lychee Grapefruit Martini
Servings
4

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. In a large shaker combine the juice, syrup and the vodka with some ice. Shake until icy cold and pour into coupe glasses. Serve with a wedge of grapefruit and one whole lychee.

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Cardamom Bunuelos with Spicy Mexican Chocolate Sauce

 

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I have to say right off the bat, that these are not your “traditional” bunuelos. Bunuelos as I know them are gorgeously fried pieces of dough smothered in cinnamon sugar whilst dripping in hot from the pot, oil.  While I’m a huge fan of just about all the fried foods known to man, I just couldn’t bring myself to fry these babies. I fry at home so seldom that the thought of schlepping out the fryer or even setting up a pot of oil on the stove, seemed way beyond my lazy, summertime sensibilities.

So I did the next best thing.. I broke open a pack of puff pastry, cut it into rough rectangles and baked them. I’m sure I’m offending the Bunuelos gods, but I think if they could try these they might, just might , be convinced that this recipe makes a more than acceptable substitute.

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I did have to give these a little Scandi spin though and decided in order to mix things up I’d serve them dusted generously in cardamom sugar alongside some churro-ish (new word invented by me, your welcome) chocolate dipping sauce. Speaking of which, have you ever made real, I mean real Mexican hot chocolate? It’s nothing short of life changing and definitely worth a go if you haven’t yet.  I love it so much I’m convinced I need to purchase a molinillo to get the perfect froth on my next cup.

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There’s just something so seductive about Mexican chocolate, especially chocolate that has been infused with a little spice. That subtle kick at the end is pretty darn satisfying. While I didn’t have any infused chocolate lying around, I did decide that these beauties needed some spicy sauce to accompany them. Making the sauce is just about as easy as making the bunuelos.

Cardamom Bunuelos 4

I used Mexican hot chocolate tablets, melted them in some heavy cream, a knob of butter and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The ingredients combine to make this gorgeous slightly spicy ganache that is a perfect companion to all the crispy, fragrant goodness of the bunuelo. The satisfaction to work ratio is pretty darn high on this one.

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My local grocery store carries the Mexican hot chocolate tablets in it’s Hispanic foods section, but I know that you can easily order it along with some other really amazing varieties from Amazon. Our neighborhood Mexican grocery has a huge selection as well, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to acquaint yourself with your own Hispanic grocery, you definitely, definitely should. Be warned though, you will come away spending more money than you were planning, and if I could just say, Cajeta? You’ll want to pick up some of that too.

  • Cardamom Bunuelos with Spicy Mexican Chocolate Sauce
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
12 20 5

Ingredients

Servings:

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Unfold pastry and cut into 24 squares using a pizza wheel. Place on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes until golden brown.
  2. While the pastry bakes, combine the sugar and cardamom in a medium sized bowl. Coat the bunuelos in the sugar mixture as soon as they are removed from the oven. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, combine the chocolate, whipping cream, butter and cayenne over low heat. Stir periodically until completely melted and smooth. Serve immediately with the bunuelos.

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Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

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Monday afternoon, 4:25, John Coltrane on Pandora radio, icy glass of Walla Walla rose wine at my elbow, (can’t make my computer put an accent mark on the e in rose) 86 degrees outside and Drew walking around the house trilling on an imaginary trumpet. Perfection. Or at least darn close.

The only thing that would make it anymore perfect, this grilled skirt steak with Chimichurri plunked down in front of me. The whole thing. Every glorious, juicy, crusty bit. Slathered in garlicky, fragrant Argentinian goodness. Sigh. Not going to happen today.

Tooth throbbing from morning session at the dentist.  He and I are becoming BFF’s.  His good news for the day? All of my 500 silver filled cavities need replacing. Aging is not for sissies. Realize sissies is a word old people use.

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Plan for tomorrow? Make this again and devour it. With a martini, or two.

Toss some tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, sea salt and thyme in a baking dish. Roast the heck out of it, serve it along side my steak and raise my glass to my new BFF.

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Recipe found over at the Issaquah Press.