Wednesday, May 30, 2012

3P Biscuits - Parsley, Parmesan and Pepper

Sometimes I just don't want to cook anything on the weekends but then I remember how delicious a fresh homemade biscuit can taste and how quickly they can be prepared and baked.  Add a fresh egg and some slices of bacon and you have a breakfast that is better than any option dining out.  Here I've gone with items in my fridge, but you can substitute almost any herb and cheese for the parsley and parmesan I've used here.  These are delightful and easily modified!

Ingredients (for 6 biscuits)

1 1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons black pepper (the coarser the better)
1/2 cup parsley leaves finely chopped
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup of buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Combine all dry ingredients (including parsley) in a food processor.  Pull until combined, about 1 minute.
3. Cut butter into 4-5 chunks and drop one chunk in at a time, pulsing in between to combine the flour into the butter.
4. When all butter is in, add parmesan and pulse for a minute, then add buttermilk and pulse until well mixed (about 2 minutes).
5. Remove mixture to a well floured counter and carefully dump onto the board.  Use your hands to mold the dough into about a 7 inch diameter circle, making sure to incorporate any extra bits into the dough.
6. Cut into six equal slices (like a pie)
7. Place on parchment paper and cook until tops are lightly browned, about 16-18 minutes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gambas al Ajillo - Prawns with Garlic Sauce

One of my favorite tapas of all times is gambas al ajillo - prawns/shrimp in a garlic sauce made with olive oil and garlic.  This dish is simple, impressive and can be either a dinner for two people or tapas for 4-6.  Once again, we were lucky to find these fresh caught spotted prawns from our favorite HamaHama Oyster co .  If you are in the Olympic Peninsula area and want a place to visit, it would be totally worth the visit!

Serve this dish with a side of arroz con frijole negro "rice with black bean" or pan "bread".


1/2 pound uncooked fresh prawn tails
4-6 cloves garlic minced
1 jalopeno seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil

1. Heat deep pot or cast iron over medium high heat.
2. When hot, add garlic, jalopeno and olive oil.  Stir for about a minute or so, don't let the garlic brown too much.
3. Drop the prawns in and stir to coat.  Allow to cook about 3 minutes until the meat turns white.  It is important not to overcook these because then they will get tough.
4. Remove from heat and stir a few more times to coat the shrimp in the delicious oil.
5. Serve with black beans, rice or crusty bread to soak up the garlic oil.  You will have to peel these and be careful, they are hot!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Toast met Champignons (Toast with Mushrooms)

Here is another classic recipe from my mother in law.  This meal is really filling and delicious and definitely made for a busy weeknight.  You could also serve this as an appetizer or at a brunch with an egg on top.  The point is this dish has bacon, mushrooms (yes I put bacon first), shallot and parsley.  How simple and easy can that be?


3-4 strips thick cut bacon
2 small shallots finely chopped
1 lb mushrooms (we used shiitake) chopped into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
olive oil

1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook bacon until mostly crisp, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Remove bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel
3. Add shallots to bacon grease and allow to cook about 2-3 minutes
4. Add chopped mushrooms and allow to cook another 3-4 minutes
5. If you dish looks dry you can add a tablespoon or so of olive oil
6. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and cover.
7. Prepare toast from your favorite loaf of bread.  Brush with olive oil if you like.
8. Place toast on a plate and cover generously with mushrooms.  Serve with an egg on top or a salad on the side.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Whole Wheat Dutch Oven Bread

The inspiration for this bread came from my dear friend Hillary who is the best baker I know.  I combined two of her favorite recipes (one using a dutch oven and the other all white flour), but I doctored this one up with some whole wheat flour to see if it would still taste good.  Lucky for you, it does!  Cooking the bread in a dutch oven is absolutely required and will give the results a normal home oven can't normally replicate.  Try mixing in any of your favorite bread inclusions (rosemary, cheddar cheese, thyme, etc.)!

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups warm water

1. Combine dry ingredients with a spatula in a plastic bowl and stir with a spoon to incorporate.
2. Add water until dough is looks like a shaggy ball (I don't really know what a shaggy ball would be defined as, but go with your gut here).  Mine looked like a mostly wet doughy substance.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 12-18 hours
4. Preheat dutch oven in a regular oven to 450 degrees.
5. Generously cover hands and counter with flour and turn dough onto the counter.
6. Shape into desired shape (remember if has to fit in your dutch oven) and let rest until regular oven is preheated.
7. CAREFULLY remove dutch oven and carefully put bread in the pan.  Place lid on top and put in oven for 30 minutes.
8. Remove lid after 30 minutes and return dutch oven to the regular oven for another 15 minutes to let the bread brown
9. CAREFULLY remove the entire apparatus from the oven and take the bread out with oven mitts and place on a cooling rack
10. Cut and serve after letting cool about 15 minutes

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rhubarb Margarita

Yes this sounds insanely delicious and it lives up to it's reputation.  Rhubarb simple syrup + silver tequila = elegant margarita!  I got the rhubarb simple syrup from 101 and made a few modifications to fit my needs.  The end result is out of this world.

A few notes about the simple syrup.  You don't need to put any rosewater in the final product (unless you happen to have some sitting around).  I also doubled the amount of lime in the recipe.  You can actually make 1/2 of the recipe and still end up with enough syrup for 4 drinks.  If you are confused by this math, welcome to my world ;)


1.5 parts good silver tequila
1 part rhubarb simple syrup (see link above)

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake about a minute.  Drain into a frozen martini glass and garnish with a strawberry or a maraschino cherry.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake

The morning after I arrived back from a recent trip I was too jet lagged to sleep.  I had a recipe in my inbox from my mom which I modified into this coffee cake.  I'm glad my mom keeps our old recipes around because this was perfect for David and I once he woke up (about 3 hours later).  Feel free to add a different frozen fruit (or two!).  The recipe calls for lemon curd but you could substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla + zest of one lemon instead.

1 stick butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon curd (or 2 tsp vanilla + zest of 1 lemon)
1 1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Grease bread loaf pan or spring form pan (depending on the shape of bread you want to cook)
2. Cream butter and sugar together, about 4 minutes
3. Add eggs, sour cream and lemon curd and mix until smooth
4. Pre mix flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda
5. Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture until just combined
6. Stir in blueberries
7. Add to greased pan and cook until toothpick comes out clean (about 40 minutes)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lemon Pepper Chicken a la Anderson

My mother makes the most amazing lemon pepper chicken and my mother in law makes a delicious roast lemon chicken.  This recipe is a blend of the two and brings out the best cooking methods in both. The recipe starts with a brine and ends with a roasting time in the oven and it is worth the effort because the flavor is intense and the meat literally falls off the bone.  Serve with these blue cheese biscuits from Smitten Kitchen and an old fashioned carrot salad (see recipe below) for a complete Sunday night meal that would have anyone begging for one more weekend day.


Brine (4 cups water + 1/4 cup table salt)

2 chicken legs + drumstick attached (or 2 pounds chicken pieces dark meat preferable)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cloves garlic
4 lemon slices
Pepper/salt (generous sprinkles)

Carrot Salad
3 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound carrots

1. Prepare brine at least 5 hours ahead of time.  Combine salt and water in pan and heat until it reaches a rolling boil.  Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Place chicken pieces in a deep dish, cover with cooled brine and let sit in fridge for at least two hours, no more than three
3. When ready to cook dinner, heat oven to 400 degrees
4. Carefully pull chicken skin back and place two lemon slices + garlic under the skin.   Cover and use a brush to baste with butter.  Repeat for other chicken leg.
5. Generously cover with pepper and salt
6. Set in oven for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and cook another 25 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 180 degrees
7. Meanwhile prepare carrot salad.  Grate carrots and place in a bowl.  Combine mayo, lemon juice, olive oil, and sugar and whisk until incorporated.  All dressing to bowl and mix carrots with the dressing.  Salt and pepper to taste.
8. When chicken is done, remove from oven and let rest a few minutes and then dish up with carrot salad and biscuits.