Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Christmas Kolaches

You know how some traditions feel Christmas-y, even though they’re not necessarily your own Christmas traditions? I felt that way about the gingerbread kiss cookies that I made with the Little Prince before the holidays. It turns out I pretty much only like kiss cookies when they are still somewhat warm from the oven, because after several hours, the chocolate gets hard again and then I find that they get awkward to eat. Thankfully I had made a half batch (using half a flax egg instead of the unattainable half-an-egg) with dark chocolate kisses, but still, 24 was too many at one time.


Right before we left for Montreal, I made kolaches for breakfast. I’m not very familiar with kolaches, as they are not part of my traditions, and the ones I encounter most often here in South Texas are bastardized sausage kolaches. These are closer to the original fruit pastries – the dough itself isn’t sweet and could be a great roll, and I used jam to fill the center. I used what I had on hand, which was strawberry jam and orange marmalade, but I think these would be especially good with raspberry jam and apricot jam.

Note that I’m including a picture of the unbaked kolaches because I’d actually make them differently next time. I made them a bit too big – they do get much plumper in the oven! A golf-sized amount of dough is probably the right amount for each, but I was having trouble reconciling that with a 3”-wide, 1”-thick disc and I overdid it. I would also make the indentation deeper so that the jam doesn’t run off as much. The recipe should make about 16 kolaches in all.

1 packet active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. warm water
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 cup lactose-free whole milk
4 Tbsp. cold lactose-free butter
½ tsp. fine salt
3 ½ to 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup jam (see note above)

Stir the yeast, water, and sugar together in a large bowl. Let stand until yeast is bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Bring the milk just to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the butter to cool. Pour over yeast mixture and add the salt.

Add 2 cups of flour, stirring well, then stir in the egg. Stir in an additional 1 ½ cups flour, using your hands to finish bringing the dough together as needed. Knead, adding up to remaining ¼ cup additional flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and bounces back slightly when pressed on with a finger, about 5 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Grease a baking sheet and set aside (I used a silpat). Break off 1 golf ball-sized piece of dough at a time and shape each into a 3-inch-wide, 1-inch-thick circle (see note above). Place onto the prepared baking sheet and let rise for 20 minutes.

Using a finger, press a wide (and deeper than in the pictures) well in the center of each dough round. Fill each round with 1 teaspoon of jam. Let rise while arranging a rack in the middle of the oven and preheating it to 350 °F.

Bake until just lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, cool, and serve.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cranberry Lime Pie



This was one of the best things I’ve made in a long time! The recipe is from Bon Appétit. It would be perfect for the holidays, though I made it between Thanksgiving and Christmas (I swear, I’m catching up on this backlog of recipes!). The only thing I’d change is that I’d halve the amount of cranberries for the topping (I had too many and didn’t use most of them in the picture). I’d also save some lime zest to decorate the top of the pie; those changes are reflected below. This was really great and I’ll be making it again!

For the crust
4 oz. gingersnap cookies (I ended up using gingerbread cookies)
1 cup pecans
4 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, melted
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar

For the filling and assembly
1 12-oz. package fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries, plus 2 oz. (about 2/3 cup) for serving
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp. finely grated lime zest, divided (plus more zest for serving)
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 pinch kosher salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) lactose-free butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

For the crust
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Pulse cookies in a food processor until very finely ground (you should have about 1 cup). Add pecans; pulse until finely ground. Add butter and brown sugar; pulse to combine. Transfer to a deep 9" pie dish. Using a measuring cup, press firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake until firm and slightly darkened in color, 10–15 minutes. If crust slides down sides, gently press back up. Let cool.

For the filling and assembly
Bring 12 oz. cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat; simmer until cranberries burst and most of the liquid evaporates, 12–15 minutes. Let cool. Purée in a blender until very smooth.

Cook purée, eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lime juice, salt, ½ cup sugar, and 1 tsp. lime zest in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring with a rubber spatula (I would actually start with a whisk) and scraping down sides of bowl often, until curd thickens and coats spatula, 8–10 minutes. (At this point, I ran the mixture through a sieve.) Let cool until just warm.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat curd, adding butter a piece at a time and incorporating after each addition, until curd looks lighter in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Scrape into crust and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Bring ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add remaining 2 ounces cranberries and cook until barely starting to soften, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until no longer sticky, 20–30 minutes.

Toss remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 tsp. lime zest in a small bowl. Toss cranberries in lime sugar. Top pie with cranberries and additional lime zest; serve with whipped cream. (The pie, without the topping, can be made 2 days ahead. Cover once filling is firm and keep chilled. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours before serving.)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

I can’t even tell you how wonderful this pork tenderloin was. It’s from Root Down in Denver and was published in Bon Appétit. I made a few changes: I cooked the pork more thoroughly after searing it; I reduced the amount of green curry paste and used maple syrup instead of agave nectar; and I retroactively decided that the pepitas, while pretty, don’t have their place in this dish. The sauce was out of this world – I encourage you to ladle it generously over rice, and heck, serve it in a glass while you’re at it, it’s that good. The version below is mine.

For the tenderloin
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 ½ lbs.)
kosher salt
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

For the sauce and assembly
1 Tbsp. + ½ cup grapeseed oil (or neutral vegetable oil)
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp. prepared green curry paste (down from ¼ cup)
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
1 14.5-oz can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
rice, to serve

For the tenderloin
Combine soiy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add tenderloin; close bag, pressing out air. Chill, turning once, 4-12 hours. Remove tenderloin from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Season lightly with salt.

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Cook tenderloin, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of tenderloin registers 160 °F, 20–30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

For the sauce and assembly
While meat is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add curry paste and lime zest and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened in color and very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add coconut milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 20–25 minutes. Let curry mixture cool.

Transfer curry mixture to a blender and add agave, lime juice, ¼ cup cilantro, and 2 Tbsp. water; blend until very smooth. With motor running, add remaining ½ cup oil in a steady stream; blend until sauce is thick and emulsified. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium just until warmed through (the sauce can be made a day ahead and reheated).

Serve pork with rice; ladle with sauce and top with cilantro.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tahini Blackberry Yogurt Cake



I wasn’t sure I’d post about this recipe, but then I realized that my mother would probably appreciate one more way to use tahini, so here you go. This was a good cake, not too sweet, and you could have it as a snack as well as a dessert. I also think raspberries or blueberries could be used instead of the blackberries.

½ tsp. ground cardamom or cinnamon
2 Tbsp. + 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
2 large eggs
1 cup lactose-free plain whole milk yogurt
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. finely grated lemon, lime, or orange zest
2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blackberries
¼ cup tahini

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease a 9"-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray; line bottom with a parchment paper round and lightly grease parchment. (I used a springform pan.)

Mix cardamom and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 cup sugar, and ½ tsp. kosher salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center; add eggs, yogurt, oil, and citrus zest and whisk to combine. Switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and gradually work in dry ingredients, mixing until smooth. Fold in berries; scrape batter into prepared pan.

Mix tahini, a pinch of salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar in another small bowl. Drizzle evenly over batter; sprinkle reserved cardamom sugar over top.

Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool in pan. Invert onto a plate, then turn right side up.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for 2 days.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Sweet Potato Pound Cake



I found this cake on Orangette. Obviously I was going to like a cake made with sweet potato, and luckily, the rest of my family liked it too! I made the glaze and poured it on the cake, though you should be warned that it’s the kind of glaze that will be absorbed in the crumb to keep it moist, not the kind that will sit atop the cake to make it look pretty. That being said, the glaze is optional, and I think that a glaze-less version of this cake would be great for breakfast or as a snack! Otherwise, serve this for dessert.

For the cake
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (I used 250 g. white whole wheat flour and 140 g white flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
½ cup lactose-free milk (low-fat is okay)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. (2 sticks) lactose-free butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

For the buttermilk glaze (optional)
½ cup buttermilk substitute (lactose-free milk with a splash of lemon juice)
½ cup sugar
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) lactose-free butter, cubed
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch or flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan (definitely don’t skip the flouring step).

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk well. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and light brown sugar until light and fluffy, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sweet potatoes, and mix until the batter is combined. (The batter may look curdled at this point; don’t worry.) With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture. Beat to just incorporate. Then add half of the milk mixture, and continue to beat on low until well blended. Add the remaining flour, followed by the remaining milk, and beat on low until the batter is thick and smooth.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge to loosen the cake, and then carefully invert it onto the rack.

Meanwhile, make the glaze, if using. In a medium saucepan, combine the buttermilk, sugar, butter, cornstarch, and baking soda. Place it over medium heat, and bring it just to a gentle boil. Immediately remove it from the heat, stir well, and set it aside to cool to room temperature. Add the vanilla, and stir well.

Set the wire rack – with the cake atop it – over a rimmed sheet pan. Spoon the glaze through a fine-mesh sieve over the warm cake. (Molly Wizenberg recommends using a sieve because the glaze can have some little gelatinous bits of clumped cornstarch in it.)

Cool completely before serving.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Croissants

Remember when the Engineer was making croissants? It turns out that now that I can buy lactose-free butter in the U.S., I can make my own lactose-free croissants with that recipe! It is from Baking Illustrated. Note that the dough (and especially the butter square) should be kept cold – do not attempt this recipe on a hot day. Note also that the recipe makes 12 croissants, but some had already been eaten by the time I took any pictures!

I used some of these delicious croissants as vehicles for jams by Simon Turcotte – it turns out that while I love the taste of his jams and spreads, I feel like the texture is too loose (though his jellies are fine). That being said, if you want to place an order for his products or other items from Quebec’s terroir and want an English interface or want items from different businesses in a single order, try here.

For the dough
3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
¼ cup (1 ¾ oz) sugar
1 ¼ tsp. salt (use less, since there’s only salted lactose-free butter on the market at the moment)
1 ¼ cups lactose-free whole milk, cold
2 Tbsp. lactose-free butter

For the butter square
24 Tbsp. (3 sticks) lactose-free butter, cut into 1-Tbsp. pieces and kept cold
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

For the egg wash
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the dough
Whisk 2 ¾ cups of the flour together with the yeast, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

Place the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the flour mixture and knead at low speed until a ball of dough forms, about 5 minutes. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the dough. Continue to knead until the butter becomes fully incorporated and the dough becomes smooth, begins to form a ball, and clears the sides of the bowl, an additional 5 or 6 minutes. (The dough should be sticky, but if more dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl than to itself, add the remaining ¼ cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as necessary.) Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for 1 hour.

For the butter square
Using a bench scraper, toss together the butter pieces and flour on a clean work surface. Smear the butter and flour back and forth against the work surface until the have combined into a smooth and homogenous mixture.

Wrap the butter mixture in plastic wrap and use the edges of the plastic to form it into an even 7-inch square. Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll the dough into an 11-inch square. Remove the plastic wrap from the butter square and place it diagonally in the center of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter so that they meet in the middle of the butter square (it will look a bit like a letter in an envelope, though the edges on the dough won’t be overlapping). Pinch the ends of the dough together to seal.

Using a rolling pin, tap the dough from the center outward until the butter begins to soften and become malleable. Gently roll the dough into a 14-inch square, dusting the work surface with flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Fold one outside edge of the dough (roughly a third) in toward the center and bring the opposite edge in over the top (it will look like you are folding a business letter). Repeat the process in the opposite direction, folding each narrow edge toward the center to make a square. This is two turns. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before repeating this step (for a total of four turns) and chilling again for 2 hours.

To shape the croissants
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Place the chilled dough on a floured surface and gently roll the dough into a 20-inch square. Use a pizza roller (my preference) to cut the dough into two equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle into thirds widthwise and then cut each of those rectangles into 2 triangles, to yield a total of 12 triangles.

Working one at a time, lift a triangle off the work surface, holding the base (the short side) in one hand and the tip in the other. Gently stretch into an isosceles triangle. With the base closest to you, cut a 1-inch slit into the center of the base of the triangle (this will allow the croissant to roll evenly) and fold the two sides of the slit outward. With both hands, roll the triangle from the base, gently stretching the dough as you roll, leaving at least ¼-inch of the tip unrolled. Transfer the croissant to the prepared baking sheet, unrolled tip facing downward. Bring the ends of the croissant toward each other to form a crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining triangles, placing 6 on each baking sheet.

Cover the croissants loosely with plastic wrap. Let them rise at room temperature until puffy (they will not double in size), 45 to 60 minutes.

To brush with egg wash and bake
Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 400 °F. Brush the croissants with the beaten egg. Bake until the croissants are golden-brown, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front-to-back and top-to-bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the croissants on a wire rack until warm, 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Enchiladas

I don’t know if you remember when I had made enchiladas, with a store-bought mild enchilada sauce that was spicy as heck (it now reminds me of the plot of Dragons Love Tacos, come to think of it). Well, I tried them again, this time with my take on a homemade sauce. I got the sauce recipe here, but obviously any recipe that basically has you make a roux with more chili powder than flour needs some changes if it’s going to pass in my kitchen! So the version below is my own. Note that it makes less than the 28 ounces called for in the enchilada recipe, but I found that I had just enough anyway.

As for the filling: the original recipe (from the Weelicious cookbook, but available here) calls for cooked chicken, but as it happened, I had plenty of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving. Since I had decided to make all the same sides as last year, I figured I could take a chance and try a new turkey recipe, especially one that is made on the stovetop and frees up the oven for my sides! Enter turkey with pumpkin, figs and honey. Since I couldn’t find 2 turkey breasts and 2 turkey drumsticks at the store (as the recipe calls for), I ended up getting a big half turkey (breasts only) and I asked the butcher to cut it up into manageable pieces for me, essentially removing the carcass and cutting the breasts in half. I hadn’t looked at the price carefully before handing this off to the butcher; I took something that was mid-range, meaning I preferred a bird that had had a good life and a humane death, but I didn’t need a heritage breed. It turned out to be just over $60 (for what had weighed just over 12 pounds with the carcass). So obviously, I initially fretted about spending so much on turkey, but as it turns out, I split that turkey into 8 pieces: I cooked 5 for Thanksgiving, 2 of which made over 8 servings, then I used some in these enchiladas and froze the rest; I also and froze 3 raw pieces of turkey breast. So really, if I count the price per serving, it was *totally* reasonable. Having leftover poultry made these enchiladas super easy, so you could feel free to substitute what you have on hand – or use plain cooked chicken, too, including from a store-bought roast chicken.

For the sauce
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 heaping Tbsp. flour
1 pinch Korean pepper
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. salt

Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the flour and Korean pepper and stir. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens.

In a small bowl, mix the tomato sauce with the rest of the ingredients until it is fully blended. Add to your saucepan and whisk until fully mixed. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat until thickened.

For the enchiladas
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
2 small chicken breasts or 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (see note above)
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar (lactose-free, obviously)
1 28-oz. can enchilada sauce (as noted, I make the sauce above)
8 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook onions and salt for 3 minutes. Add red bell pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add cumin and garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Remove the mixture from the pan and place in a bowl.

After the mixture has cooled, add the chicken, corn, and 1 cup cheese and mix to combine.

Pour half of the enchilada sauce in a 9 x 11 inch baking dish (mine was 9 x 13 inches).

Divide the mixture, placing it in the middle of each tortilla (about ½ cup in each) and rolling it up like a wrap (burrito shape). Place the rolled enchiladas close together, seam side down, in the sauced baking dish. Continue to roll the rest of the filled enchiladas.

Once you have finished making the stuffed enchiladas, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over them and top with remaining ½ cup cheese. (The enchiladas can be frozen at this point.) Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes (or 30 minutes if from the freezer). Serve.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Pain à la citrouille de Maman



J’ai encore essayé des recettes de tarte à la citrouille l’automne passé. D’abord, les tartelettes à la citrouille de Minimalist Baker (qui se retrouvent aussi en version standard ici) avec une croûte à l’huile de coco – bon, c’était correct, sans plus. La garniture était plus foncée que ce que j’aurais voulu, et il y en a eu assez pour deux tartes (ce dont la recette ne m’avait pas avertie!), alors j’ai acheté un paquet de croûtes de commerce pour faire cuire le reste et congeler la tarte superflue. Ensuite, j’ai essayé cette tarte à la crème à la citrouille, également végétalienne et sans gluten. La croûte était en fait excellente (à base de farine de riz blanc, avec un peu de sucre et d’huile de coco et du lait d’amande), même s’il faudrait la faire cuire un peu avant d’y ajouter la garniture. Par contre, la garniture elle-même était complètement ratée, c’était presque de la soupe! J’avais utilisé du Kineret sur le dessus, alors pour ne pas gaspiller ça, j’ai ressorti l’autre tarte du congélateur, j’ai raclé le Kineret de sur la tarte ratée et je l’ai mis sur la tarte chenue, qui s’en est trouvée améliorée. L’année prochaine, je devrais m’en tenir à ma bonne tarte chiffon à la citrouille!

Ensuite, j’ai fait le pain à la citrouille de ma mère, et ça, c’était bon! Ça va aller dans ma liste de recettes à faire de temps en temps (pas juste en automne, en fait, parce que de la purée de citrouille en conserve, ça se trouve à l’année). Dans la recette, c’est écrit « 1 ½ tasse de farine (210 g) ». Bon, normalement, 1 ½ tasse de farine, c’est 180 g, mais puisque la recette se donne la peine de préciser et que j’en suis à peser ma farine de toute façon, j’en ai mis 210 g. On pourrait y ajouter des noix, des fruits secs ou des pépites de chocolat, mais je l’ai fait tel qu’écrit ci-dessous. Bon appétit!

1 ½ tasse de farine (210 g.; voir note plus haut)
½ c. à thé de sel
1 tasse de sucre
1 c. à thé de bicarbonate de soude
1 tasse de purée de citrouille
½ tasse d’huile végétale neutre
2 œufs, battus
¼ tasse d’eau
¼ c. à thé de muscade
¼ c. à thé de cannelle
¼ c. à thé de piment de la Jamaïque

Préchauffer le four à 350 °F. Graisser un moule à pain de 9 po x 5 po.

Dans un petit bol, tamiser la farine, le sel, le sucre et le bicarbonate de soude.

Dans un grand bol, mélanger la purée de citrouille, l’huile végétale, les œufs, l’eau et les épices. Ajouter les ingrédients secs et mélanger seulement jusqu’à ce que le tout soit homogène.

Verser dans le moule et faire cuire de 50 à 60 minutes (c’était plutôt 45 minutes dans mon cas) ou jusqu’à ce qu’un cure-dents en ressorte propre. Laisser refroidir dans le moule une vingtaine de minutes, puis démouler et laisser refroidir complètement sur une grille.

Pumpkin Chili

This is a recipe that can easily be made vegan or gluten-free, as needed. It originally calls for pumpkin, but you can use any orange-flesh squash – I used butternut, but Red Kuri or Golden Hubbard would work, too. What was unusual here is that you basically start by making a roux with corn flour, but I’m actually not sure whether that’s a good idea, because I found that it sticks to the bottom of the pot, and some of it was burnt by the time the chili had thickened and cooked properly. That being said, it was still pretty easy to clean the pot after letting it soak, so no harm done. Maybe I should have used the full amount of butter and oil (I had halved it), maybe I should have stirred more often, who knows. Note that since nobody in our house likes turnips, I used potatoes instead, and I used fire-roasted tomatoes instead of tomatoes with green chiles. I’m also thinking that perhaps one should add the tomatoes closer to the end of cooking, since the acid in them inhibits the cooking process and that might explain why it took hours for the squash to be tender! The recipe is originally from The Kitchn.

1 (3-lb.) pie pumpkin (see above)
8 Tbsp. (½ cup) lactose-free butter (I used half; see note above)
½ cup olive oil (I used half; see note above)
½ cup finely ground cornmeal (I used corn flour)
2 medium turnips (about 12 oz. total; I used potatoes)
2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes (mine were fire-roasted and probably 15 oz.)
2 (16-oz.) cans chili beans, drained (I used 3 cans of kidney beans)
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 pinch Korean pepper (this is my choice, instead of 1 Tbsp. chili powder)
1 scant tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
balsamic vinegar
For serving: chopped green onions, shredded lactose-free cheddar cheese, lactose-free sour cream

Peel the pumpkin or squash and cut into 1-inch pieces or smaller. (To make it easier to peel the pumpkin, you can cut it in half, remove the seeds and then microwave each half cut-side down in a shallow dish of water for 5 minutes, or roast the halves at 450 °F for about 15 minutes. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, shave off the skin with a sharp knife. With a butternut squash, though, I rarely have trouble.)

In a 6-quart or larger Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the cornmeal until smooth, then stir in the pumpkin, turnip, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Add the broth, diced tomatoes and their juices (see note above – consider adding this only towards the end), beans, and corn. Stir in the Korean pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, or until the pumpkin and turnip are tender. (It gets even better if simmered longer — a whole afternoon, if you have the time. That being said, the corn flour stuck to the bottom of my pot, so do stir from time to time!)

Before serving, taste and season with salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Serve hot with green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream if desired.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Zucchini Gratin



I normally don’t like cooked zucchini, but this dish was surprisingly good! It calls for using the liquid extracted from the zucchini and some milk instead of more traditional cream, so it’s not too heavy, plus there’s rice and cheese to round it all out. And it wasn’t hard to make, either. The recipe is originally by Julia Child, though this version is by Shauna James Ahern. I served this zucchini gratin with leftover pork ragu from the freezer, and the Engineer was convinced that he would like the pork more than the zucchini, but it turns out that he was wrong. The Little Prince, however, was not lured by the cheese in this – it remained too green for his liking. Too bad – but that made more for us.

2 lbs. zucchini
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup (90 g.) white rice
3 Tbsp. lactose-free butter or margarine
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium finely chopped yellow onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (gluten-free if necessary)
2 to 2 ½ cups warm liquid (combination of zucchini water and lactose-free milk – see below)
2/3 cup (65 g.) parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Cut off the ends of the zucchinis and grate them on a box grater or in a food processor with the grating disc. Put the grated zucchini in a colander set over a large bowl. Toss with the kosher salt, taking the time to mix the salt well. Let the zucchini drain into the bowl for at least 5 minutes.

Grab a handful of the grated zucchini and put it in a kitchen towel. Put the towel over the bowl of zucchini water, close the towel around the ball of zucchini and squeeze out the water. Squeeze again and again until you have drained the zucchini of as much water as possible (it’ll never get completely dry, but do your best). Continue with the remaining zucchini.

Set a small pot of water over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice. Let it boil vigorously for 5 minutes, then drain it from the water and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Generously grease a baking dish of roughly 8-cup capacity (I used an 8” square one). Set aside.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in 4 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and stir vigorously while the onions brown just a bit more. Stir in the grated zucchini and chopped garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables. Stir for 2 minutes, making sure everything is evenly coated with the flour, then turn off the heat.


While the zucchini is cooking, set another small pot on medium heat. Pour the zucchini water into a large measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 2 cups of liquid. Heat the liquid to a slow simmer without letting it boil. Slowly, pour the heated zucchini liquid into the skillet of vegetables. Turn the heat to medium-high again and stir gently. When the vegetables and liquid begin to simmer, turn off the heat again. Stir in the cooked rice and most of the parmesan (save about 3 tablespoons for the top). Taste the zucchini and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vegetables and liquid into the buttered pan. Toss the remaining cheese on top and drizzle it with the remaining olive oil.

Bake the gratin until the top is bubbly brown and the reduced liquids are simmering on the edges, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Burgers de dinde avec oignons caramélisés aux pommes

J’ai trouvé cette recette sur le site Fraîchement pressé, en fait parce que j’aime bien lire les billets de Marie-Ève Laforte, qui a créé ces burgers. J’ai changé un peu la recette en utilisant une échalote au lieu de l’oignon rouge et en mettant 2 livres de dinde au lieu de 1 ½ livre, pour faire un total de 8 boulettes. Aussi, personnellement, j’aime ajouter un filet d’huile au beurre dans la poêle, pour l’empêcher de brûler – je trouve que ça assure une meilleure cuisson. Ça va sans dire, mais je vais le dire quand même : on a tous les trois adoré ces burgers!

2 livres de dinde hachée
½ tasse de bacon cuit et émietté (ou 4 tranches)
¼ tasse d’oignon rouge émincé (j’ai pris une échalote)
4 c. à soupe de beurre sans lactose, divisé
2 oignons jaunes, en tranches épaisses
2 pommes vidées, pelées et coupées en tranches minces
2 c. à soupe de vinaigre de cidre
1 pincée de cannelle
1 pincée de muscade
1 pincée de sauge (je n’en avais pas)
sel et poivre, au goût
8 pains à hamburger
4 tranches de cheddar fort sans lactose
laitue et mayonnaise, pour servir

Dans un bol, combiner la dinde, le bacon et l’oignon rouge. Saler et poivrer. Mélanger et former 8 boulettes, en faisant attention de ne pas trop manipuler la viande (ce qui la ferait durcir). Mettre les boulettes au frigo pendant 5 à 10 minutes.

Dans une poêle, faire fondre 2 c. à soupe de beurre à feu moyen-doux. Ajouter les tranches d’oignons et faire revenir pendant environ 5 minutes, jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient translucides et aient commencé à foncer légèrement.

Ajouter les pommes et continuer de faire revenir pendant 4 ou 5 minutes de plus. Déglacer avec le vinaigre et continuer de mélanger jusqu’à ce que le liquide soit évaporé. Saler, poivrer et ajouter la cannelle, la muscade et la sauge. Fermer le feu et réserver.

Pendant ce temps, dans une autre poêle, faire fondre les 2 c. à soupe de beurre restant à feu moyen-élevé. Déposer les boulettes dans la poêle chaude (j’y suis allée en deux fois) et les faire cuire environ 4 minutes sans les toucher, puis les retourner et les faire cuire environ 4 minutes de plus, jusqu’à ce que le milieu ne soit plus rosé.

Faire griller les pains, au goût, et les garnir avec de la mayonnaise, de la laitue, les boulettes, le fromage ainsi que le mélange d’oignons et de pommes.