Pizza dough

Adapted from smitten kitchen

Dough
6 tablespoons warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more water)
2 tablespoons white wine
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups flour

Cornmeal for sprinkling
Flour for dusting workspace
1/2 pound torn-up buffalo mozzarella
Few leaves of torn-up basil (not in season here)

Poach the tomatoes in boiling water for one minute only, and then drain. Peel them once cooled. Drain and dry the pot. Put it back on the burner over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and let it heat completely before adding the garlic, stirring for a minute with a wooden spoon. Add the red pepper flakes and stir for another minute. Do not let the garlic to brown. Put the peeled tomatoes in the pot, along with the wine, sugar and salt. Break the tomatoes up with your spoon. Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down. Carefully taste without burning your tongue. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

~Jessica

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Tiramisu

imag0665Adapted from Mario Batali and Anna Maria, made for Amber

1.5 cups (360 cc) espresso coffee
2 pinches of sugar

zabaglione
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (120 cc) Marsala wine (or Port or Madeira) — we skipped this
1 lb (450 g) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1.5 cups (360 cc) heavy whipping cream

savoiardi
10 oz (285 g) ladyfinger cookies (~40)
2 spoonfuls of bitter cocoa powder

Make about 1½ cups (360 cc) of espresso. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in the coffee while the coffee is still hot. Let cool.

Beat the egg yolks over a double boiler until they become fluffy. Beat in the sugar until the mixture lightens in color and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted from the pot. Transfer the bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until this thickens. This will thicken just before it boils, when small bubbles appear. Allow to cool 5 minutes.

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the mascarpone into the egg yolk mixture 1/4 at a time. Fold the mascarpone-yolk mixture into the egg whites until smooth. Fold the whipping cream into this and set aside.

Place the ladyfingers in one layer in the dish, and lightly soak them in the coffee. Evenly distribute half of the egg cream over the ladyfingers. Repeat with a second layer of ladyfingers (we ran out for this step) and top with the rest of the cream. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and refrigerate for about 3 – 4 hours.

~Jessica

Spanish tortilla

Adapted from Jamie Oliver, inspired by my friend Daniel, cooked with Amber

300 g waxy potatoes
1 onion
olive oil
5 large free-range eggs

Peel the potatoes then slice thin. Pat dry. Peel and finely slice the onion. Drizzle Spanish olive oil into a small frying pan over medium heat, then add the onion and potatoes, alternating layers of potatoes with the onions. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 25-30 minutes covered. Do not stir it or the potatoes will break up. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then whisk together. When the onions and potatoes are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs. Cook over low heat for around 20 minutes, then loosen the sides of the tortilla. Carefully flip the pan over a dinner plate and tip out the tortilla, then slide it back into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Cut into 6 wedges and serve hot.

~Jessica

P.S. We also added broccoli and ham, chopped finely and fried before incorporating, when we made this last Sunday. ^_^

Pumpkin pie

img_0342Adapted from Simply Recipes

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves (we ground with mortar & pestle)
pinch of ground cardamon (we didn’t have)
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
2 cups of canned pumpkin purée
1 can of evaporated milk
1 good pie crust

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Mix dry ingredients (sugar & spice) and zest. Beat eggs. Mix wet ingredients (pumpkin and dairy). Pour filling into pie shell. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45-55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for two hours. Serve.

~Jessica

Brussels sprouts in brown butter sauce

img_0345Adapted from smitten kitchen

Salt
200 g brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
50 g unsalted butter
3 shallots, very thinly sliced
3 spoonfuls of flour
500 mL hot chicken stock
2 spoonfuls of lemon juice
Ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
10 roasted, peeled chestnuts, halved if large (we didn’t have this time)

Boil sprouts in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse cold. Saute shallots in butter in saucepan until fragrant, over medium heat. Set aside strained shallots and brown the butter. Whisk in flour. Whisk in stock. Cook until sauce is thickened. Add lemon juice, salt, black pepper, nutmeg. Add chestnuts and brussels sprouts. Scatter shallots on top and bake at 225 deg C for 15 minutes. Serve.

(Optional: we fried up a little bacon, minced into the dish.)

~Jessica

Creamed spinach

img_0343

sorry it’s only in the background!

Adapted from Tyler Florence

2 bags of baby spinach
unsalted butter + extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
heavy cream
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
50 g freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper

Wash the spinach several times. Drain the spinach. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, then add the spinach, turning frequently, until the spinach has wilted down evenly. Remove the garlic and drain the spinach in a colander. Press out as much liquid as possible. Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat and add the cream and nutmeg; cook until it reduces a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is hot, about 5 more minutes. Serve immediately.

~Jessica

Mashed potatoes

img_0345Adapted from Tyler Florence

4 Yukon gold potatoes, skin on
2 garlic cloves
whole milk
heavy cream
butter
1 sprig fresh thyme /sage /rosemary
salt and pepper

Scrub then chop potatoes. Add to pot, then cover halfway in milk, then cover fully in the cream, add the butter and olive oil. Add garlic, and thyme. Bring to boil, cook until tender. When the potatoes are tender, set a colander over a bowl. Pour the potatoes through the colander, and the cream will collect on the bottom. Then put the potatoes back into the pot, mash them, and fold the potato-infused garlic cream back into the potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, with a pat of butter.

~Kai-ling