Posts Tagged ‘Food


Crème Fraîche

  Crème fraîche (pronounced krem fresh) is a thickened cream that is used in many traditional French dishes.  It has a tangy and nutty flavor that is similar to sour cream.  The main advantage of using crème fraîche is that, unlike sour cream, it does not separate or curdle when heated.  This makes it perfect for using as a thickener in soups or sauces.  It is also delicious on eggs, fruit and can serve as a substitute for sour cream in most recipes.  Still hard to find in many areas, a convincing facsimile can be made in your very own kitchen. 

The winner of the 1985 Belmont Stakes was a gelding named Creme Fraiche.


● 1 cup heavy cream, warmed to 100° F (avoid ultra pasteurized) 

● 1 tbsp. sour cream or cultured buttermilk (I have had the most success with sour cream.  Again, avoid ultra pasteurized.) 

Combine ingredients in a jar and allow to sit, loosely covered, at room temperature for 12-24 hours before refrigerating. 

Crème fraîche will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


Snow Cream

  Though not commonly eaten in large cities, snow in rural areas can be very clean and fresh tasting.  Given that we have gotten so much snow in our area lately, I thought it only fitting to include this recipe.  One taste of this frosty treat instantly takes me back to my childhood.  There is an old wives’ tale about how you are not supposed to eat the first snowfall of the season.  Most likely you would be perfectly fine but I usually follow this “rule” anyway.

The fresher the snow you use, the smoother the texture.

• 1 cup heavy cream 

• ½-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or Kahlúa 

• ½ cup sugar 

• 1 large bowl of fresh, CLEAN snow 

Whisk together the first three ingredients in a bowl.  Add the snow to the mixture in doses and stir until smooth and creamy. 

Can be topped with chocolate syrup and/or maraschino cherries if desired.


Caesar Salad

  Though it is disputed, the Caesar salad was invented by Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico around 1924.  According to legend, Cardini was short on supplies so he quickly concocted a salad that could be prepared tableside with what he had on hand.  His original recipe used whole romaine leaves and was intended to be eaten with the fingers.  Soon the salad became the most requested item on the menu.  Anchovies are considered optional, but something is really missing from the final flavor when they are left out.

Topping the Caesar with grilled chicken or shrimp transforms it from a side salad into a main course.

Boil gently (coddle) for 1-2 minutes:

2 large eggs

Add coddled eggs to an ice water bath to halt cooking

Make a paste from smashing and finely chopping together:

4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

Whisk in:

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 large coddled eggs

Stream in, while whisking

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a salad bowl, toss the dressing with:

2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

2 or more cups homemade croutons

Top salad with:

½ cup quality Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved

Serve immediately on chilled plates



Tuna Salad

  Tuna salad is a fast and relatively healthy lunch that can be put together mostly from things you have on hand anyway.  Aside from serving on bread it can be served on romaine lettuce leaves or stuffed into a fresh tomato.  Using leftover grilled tuna or the kind that comes in pouches is preferred because it has a better texture and a less “fishy” flavor than the canned varieties.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

A tuna salad sandwich on pumpernickel rye.

• 6 0z. tuna in water, drained and flaked (or leftover grilled tuna)

• ½ cup kosher dill pickles, diced

• ¼ cup mayonnaise

• 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 1 splash white wine vinegar

• ½ tsp. garlic powder

• 1 tbsp. white onion, diced (optional)

• 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced (optional)

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold.  Leftover tuna salad tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to mingle.



  Originally a French sauce, mayonnaise has been adopted as the preeminent sandwich spread.  Sadly, due to fear of raw eggs and the convenience of bottled options, homemade mayo is becoming a thing of the past.  Not only is this mayonnaise light and vibrant, it lifts any recipe that calls for it to a new level.


Mayo mixed with capers, chopped gherkins and fresh dill makes tartar sauce.

  Though the recipe is modified, I found that Alton Brown’s method was the easiest way to get a good emulsion going.  If there are any concerns about using raw eggs, pasteurized eggs can be substituted.  All ingredients should be at room temperature.

•  ½ tsp. white pepper

•  ½ tsp. salt (not Kosher)

•  2 pinches sugar

•  ½ tsp. dry mustard

•  1 tsp. English or Dijon mustard

•  2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

•  1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

•  1 cup corn oil

•  1 egg yolk

In a glass bowl, whisk together the yolk and the dry ingredients.

Combine lemon juice, vinegar and English mustard in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture.

Whisking quickly, slowly add oil until the liquid thickens and lightens.

Stream oil in until half is left, then add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.

Whisk in the rest of the oil.

Refrigerate for up to one week.

  If the mayonnaise separates, place a fresh egg yolk in a bowl and slowly whisk in the broken mixture.



  (Pronounced: broo-SKEH-tah or broo-SHEH-tah)  This dish was first created to sample the freshly pressed olive oil that was produced in Rome at the end of  fall.  Originally this recipe was nothing more than bread toasted over a fire and soaked in oil.  There were no herbs or garlic and tomatoes were also absent, probably due to Romas being woefully out of season by the time olive oil is pressed.  As it spread across central Italy, and eventually the world, it picked up its additional ingredients that make it the delicious appetizer that it is today.

"Bruschetta" comes from the Latin verb "bruscare" which means to toast or roast.

"Bruschetta" comes from the Latin verb "bruscare" which means to toast or roast.

4 pieces of good, crusty bread, sliced ¾ of an inch thick

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

4 large basil leaves

2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and halved

Extra virgin olive oil (of the best quality available)

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


•  Toast the bread under a broiler to a golden brown on both sides and remove.

•  While the bread is still hot, rub one side of each slice with a garlic half.

•  Put the bread on a plate, garlic-rubbed side up, and top with the chopped tomatoes.

•  Tear the basil into small pieces with your fingers and sprinkle over the tomato.

•  Season with the salt and pepper.

•  Drizzle each slice lightly with the olive oil and serve while still warm.


Thai Chicken with Basil

  The five fundamental tastes of Thai cuisine are sweet, sour, salty, bitter and hot.  All of these flavors can be present in a single dish or spread out in several dishes over the course of a meal.  This recipe is a “soup-style” dish but the chicken can be served on a bed of rice instead.

Thai cuisine has four distinct regional styles.

Thai cuisine has four distinct regional styles.

For the chicken:

4 chicken thighs

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp. soy sauce

Juice of ½ lime

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup basil chiffonade


•  In a pot with a tight fitting lid, heat oil to high.

•  Drop in thighs, meat side down.  Lid and cook 3 minutes.

•  Flip chicken and cook 3 minutes more.

•  Transfer chicken to a plate and reduce heat to medium.

•  Add shallots, garlic and jalapeño.  Cook for 2 minutes.

•  Stir in broth, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar.

•  Return chicken to pot and simmer 10 minutes.

•  Flip chicken and simmer 10 minutes more.


For the noodles:

1 package of rice or ramen noodles

2 cups water or chicken broth

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. english mustard

1 tbsp. soy sauce

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. cream sherry


•  Stir all spices and mustard into the water or broth.

•  Remove chicken from pot and stir in broth mixture.  Bring to a boil.

•  Drop in noodles and cook until soft.

•  Ladle noodles into a bowl and serve with chicken on top.  Garnish with the basil.


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