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Pommes Duchesse

Saturday, October 29, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Pommes Duchesse, also known as Duchess potatoes, are basically some puréed potatoes that includ egg yolk, butter and seasonings. They can be simply shaped into a mound with a spoon or piped through a pastry bag into various shapes. The edges of the piped potatoes are crisp after baking, while the interior remains soft and creamy. Serve duchess potatoes as a side along with a good portion of meat.

  • 400 g Potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 50 g butter, melted
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring it to the boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Transfer to a bowl. Mash with a potato ricer or using a large metal spoon, press potato through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add egg yolk and half the butter. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Preheat oven to 220C/428F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Spoon the potato mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe swirled rosettes onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle remaining butter over potato. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Baked Stuffed Hokkaido Pumpkin

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

A beautiful whole baked Hokkaido filled with ground beef, pumpkin seeds, shiitake mushrooms, ricotta, herb and spices. It’s delicious, remarkably easy and can be prepared in advance. The filling should be for enough for either two mini Hokkaido pumpkins or a large one. If you have too much filling left, bake a casserole! 
Inspired by Essen und Trinken

  • 1 Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 20 g Dried shiitake
  • 3 tbsp Corn oil
  • 2 Shallots
  • 2 tbsp Pumpkin seeds, finely chopped
  • 6 Allspice, finely crushed
  • 3 Juniper berries, finely crushed
  • 2 tbsp Thyme leaves
  • 400 g Ground beef
  • 3 tbsp Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Large egg
  • 50 g Ricotta
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cut off top of pumpkin to make a lid and spoon out the seeds and pulp. Rub the inside with some salt. Place, cut side down, on a piece of kitchen paper, for 30 minutes.
  2. Soak the dried shiitake in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes until softened. Squeeze out the water and finely chop the shiitake. Finely dice the shallots.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Heat 2 tablespoons of corn oil in a skillet. Add in chopped shallots, shiitake, allspice, juniper berries, pumpkin seeds and thyme. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the ground beef,breadcrumbs, egg, ricotta, and shiitake mixture in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
  5. Fill the pumpkin with ground beef mixture and place on a baking tray together with the lid. Brush the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of corn oil. Bake at the 2nd rack from bottom for an hour. About 10 minutes before the pumpkin has finished baking, cover with aluminum foil. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Hasselback Potatoes with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing

Friday, October 21, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Swedish version of baked potatoes. These baked potato fans, also known as “accordion potatoes”, were named after the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden that first introduced them in the 1700s. They are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and make an excellent accompaniment to baked cod, and roasted wagyu beef, or simply as an appetizer served with herb sour cream or blue cheese dressing. Potatoes may be fanned in advanced and placed in cold water to prevent discoloring until ready to use. Dry potatoes well before baking.

Creamy Gorgonzola DressingHasselback Potatoes
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 80 g Crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 6-8 Oval-shaped potatoes, medium sized
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 4 Rosemary sprigs
  • Salt | © 2011 |

  1. In medium bowl, stir together all dressing ingredients except cheese. Gently fold in the crumbled Gorgonzola. Dressing may be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Rinse and dry the potatoes. Grease a baking pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Put each potato, in turn, in the bowl of a wooden spoon, and cut across at about 3mm intervals.
  3. Brush the rest of olive oil all over each potato, then arrange in the baking pan together with garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle with salt. Bake the potatoes in the middle of the oven until tops are crispy and potatoes are cooked through, 45 minutes. Serve warm with creamy blue cheese cheese dressing. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Thyme Breadcrumbs

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Brussels sprouts don’t have to be boring and tasteless. Ordinary ingredients, if used and combined properly, could bring ‘wowed’ result. The balsamic vinegar and shallots emphasize the delicate sweetness and earthiness of Brussels sprouts, while the toasted spelt bread crumbs lend extra crunchiness and additional flavour to this winter dish.
Inspired by Food Network

Thyme BreadcrumbsBraised Sprouts
  • 2-3 slice Spelt bread
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried garlic powder
  • 2 sprig Lemon thyme, leaves only
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 750 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
  • 4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Minced shallots
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100 ml Balsamic vinegar
  • 280 ml Vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pulse the bread to rough breadcrumbs in a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, and fry the breadcrumbs with garlic powder and the thyme until golden brown and crisp, 3-4 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in shallots, and stir until fragrant. Add in shredded sprouts and garlic, and sauté, tossing frequently, until sprouts are nicely browned.
  3. Increase the heat to high, then pour in balsamic vinegar and vegetable broth. Cook until sprouts are tender and glazed, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and scatter bread crumbs on top. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |
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Savoury Pumpkin Spelt Tartlets with Sage and Lemon Thyme

Saturday, October 15, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Not only is pumpkin delectable and loaded with nutrients, but it can also be used to make a variety of sweet and savoury holiday tarts. Mellow, sweet flavour of pumpkin blends so well with cheese and herbs. The cream is used to give extra smoothness and richness to the filling. To enjoy them at their best, serve those tartlets soon after baking.
Inspired by Gordon Ramsay Recipes

Whole Grain Spelt Hazelnut PastryFilling
  • 100 g Whole grain spelt flour
  • 100 g Ground hazelnut
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 80 g Unsalted butter
  • 2 Large egg yolks
  • 1–2 tbsp Cold water
  • 200 ml Whipping cream
  • 10 Sage leaves, snipped
  • Few lemon thyme sprigs, plus extra leaves to sprinkle
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 300 g Pumpkin purée
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp Freshly grated Parmesan
  1. To make the pastry, combine whole grain spelt flour, hazelnut and salt in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and 1 tbsp water and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together. If it is too dry, add another 1–2 tsp water, until you can press the dough together into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the filling, put the cream into a small saucepan and add the snipped sage, lemon thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt. Bring just to a simmer, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse and cool completely.
  3. Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and use it to line twelve 5cm tarlet tins, trimming off the excess pastry. Place on a baking tray and chill for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line the tartlet cases with greaseproof paper and baking beans or dried beans and ‘bake blind’ for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the setting to 170C/340F.
  5. Strain the herb-infused cream through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the herbs. Stir in the pumpkin purée, beaten eggs and freshly grated Parmesan. Season well to taste. Spoon the filling into the pastry cases, then sprinkle a few lemon thyme leaves on top. Bake for about 20–25 minutes until lightly golden and set. Let the tartlets cool in the tins before unmoulding. | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Crunchy, nutty, and acceptably sweet, those Italian twice-baked cookies are really delicious and make a great coffee dunker. They can be adapted to include any of your favourite nuts, fruit or spices. I like the combination of 'red cranberries and green pistachios', that makes those an ideal Christmas treat. Serve them for the dessert or afternoon snack.

  • 190 g All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp Star anise powder
  • 4 Egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g Sugar
  • 50 g Dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 100 g Pistachio, roughly chopped
  1. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon powder and star anise powder. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Line a loaf pan, 10x33-cm / 4x13-inch with baking paper.
  2. Beat the egg white and pinch of salt until foamy. Gradually add in sugar and beat until stiff. Add in the flour mixture and fold to combine. Add in chopped chopped dried cranberries and pistachios.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cookie loaf from the pan and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Adjust the oven temperature to 75C/170F.
  4. Cut the cookie loaf diagonally into 3/4-inch thick slices. Place back on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for another 80 minutes, or until dry. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Fried Couscous Salad with Gorgonzola

Friday, October 07, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Couscous, if not prepared properly, could taste really bland and boring. This Italian inspired fried couscous was a really pleasant surprise. The crunchiness of the toasted couscous, and rich, sharp flavour of Gorgonzola with tangy vinaigrette dressing are simply a perfect blend.

Stir-fried Couscous Salad with Gorgonzola

Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis
  • 500 ml Hot vegetable broth
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 280 g Couscous
  • 60 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 80 g Gorgonzola, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 Large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4-5 Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Chopped red basil leaves
  • 60 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice from 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable broth and 1/3 teaspoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover until the liquid had been absorbed and the couscous is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the couscous and break up any lumps.
  2. In a large, nonstick skillet heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard. Increase the heat to high and add the couscous. Cook, stirring constantly, for 6 minutes. Continue to cook the couscous, stirring every 5 minutes, until toasted, about 25 minutes.
  3. Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and cool for 5 minutes. Add the Gorgonzola, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, and red basil. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the couscous is coated. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Witches Fingers Halloween Finger Cookies

Tuesday, October 04, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

A little creepy and gross, but really fun to make, those Halloween finger cookies are actually delicious and great for spooky decorations for your Halloween party.
Inspired by The Baking Pan

  • 30 g Blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 170 g All-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 80 g Granulated sugar
  • 40 g Powdered sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • Some blanched almond halves
  • Strawberry jam | © 2011 |
  1. Whisk together the ground almonds, flour, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat the butter, and sugars until well mixed. Add in egg, almond extract and beat until blended. Sift in the flour mixture and stir until mixed.
  2. Wrap the dough with plastic film and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Prepare 2 large baking trays and line with baking paper. Remove the dough and roll teaspoons of dough into a finger shape. Place a blanched almond half into one end of the cookie to form a nail and squeeze in the center of the dough create a knuckle shape. Use a small knife to cut a few small ridges in the knuckles. Place them back to the fridge to chill 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Remove the cookies from the fridge and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Lift up the almond half, put a little bit of the strawberry jam around the edges of the nail base, and press the almond half back into place, so the jam oozes out from around the edges. Place them on a wire rack to cool. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Gorgonzola Radicchio Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Saturday, October 01, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Like arugula, this bright purplish red radicchio has a slightly peppery and bitter taste. It is loaded with nutrients and has no fat or cholesterol. The salad, a perfect blend of sweet, sour, salty and bitter, tastes so crispy, really flavourful, and easy to throw together.

Orange VinaigretteSalad
  • 60 ml Orange juice
  • 2 tbsp White balsamic vinegar
  • 80 ml Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds, roasted
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
  • 1/2 Radicchio, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 100 g Gorgonzola, cubed
  • 1 handful Arugula leaves
  • 100 g White grapes, seedless
  • 1/4 Mango, diced
  • 1 tbsp Sundried tomatoes, diced
  1. In a small jar with a tight-fitting cover, combine all vinaigrette ingredients. Cover and shake well until blended. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.Toss with orange vinaigrette. Serve with a glass of Chardonnay for a pleasant and light lunch. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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