Sunday, May 29, 2011

No duty is more urgent than
that of returning thanks.

Photo by ~mlh

Monday, May 23, 2011


Fresh peaches poached in champagne need to be tasted to be really appreciated.

2 large ripe peaches, preferably white
2 cups dry champagne
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 small vanilla bean
3 large strawberries
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 medium lemon, squeezed for juice
1 cup whipped cream
2 large mint leaves for garnish

Make a very light incision all around peach skins. Plunge the peaches briefly into boiling water, then into cold water, and peel. Place in a shallow pan and douse with champagne. Add the syrup and vanilla bean. Bring to a slow boil over low heat, and poach peaches at about 185°F, but do not allow to boil. If peaches are very ripe, they will be poached after 5 minutes.

Place peaches and syrup in a cool place, but do not refrigerate. Drain peaches, reserving the poaching liquid. Wash strawberries, remove any leaves, and purée in a blender or food processor. Place in a bowl and stir sugar into the purée. Stir whipped cream into the strawberry purée and add lemon juice.

Serve on round plates, or in glass dishes or small bowls. Line the bottom of the dishes with strawberry cream and arrange the cooled, but not chilled, peaches on top. Garnish each peach with a mint sprig. Serve the chilled poaching liquid separately in a sauce boat.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Hotel du Pont Green Room
1 lb. almond paste (best quality)
1 1/2 c. sugar
5 egg whites

Mix almond paste and sugar on slow speed with mixer until ingredients are crumbled. Add one egg white and mix until smooth. Repeat process until all egg whites are incorporated. The consistency should be soft but not runny. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 15 minutes or golden brown. When cold, remove from pan. Macaroons should be eaten or put in air tight container and refrigerated. Makes 60 macaroons.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Claude Monet, Still Life with Eggs (Nature morte aux œufs), 1907
oil on canvas, 73 x 92cm, Private collection

Whip, Flip, and Serve

1. Crack 2–3 eggs into a medium high-sided bowl. (For an even puffier omelette, separate the eggs, whip the whites until soft peaks form, and fold egg whites into beaten yolks.)

2. Beat eggs with handheld mixer on high speed until eggs are pale, frothy, and have tripled in volume, about 2 minutes.

3. Swirl 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat to coat sides. Pour in eggs and let sit until they begin to set on the bottom of the skillet, about 20 seconds.

4. Season with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and vigorously shake the skillet back and forth to distribute the eggs, knocking them off the edge of the skillet; continue shaking over medium-high heat for about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

5. Using a flick of the wrist (or a rubber spatula), flip the omelette and cook until set on other side, about 30 seconds.

6. Top it with a slice or two of cheese, slide omelette onto a plate, and fold in half using your fingers as a guide. Makes 1 omelette.

Recipe from Saveur

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lemon-Honey Polenta Cake
1 1/2 c. butter, very soft
1/2 c. local honey, warmed
3 pastured eggs
2 c. almond flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 c. fine polenta
1 1/2 t. baking powder
zest of 2 lemons

1/2 c. local honey
juice of 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 350F. Beat the honey and butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In another bowl, combine the flour, polenta, baking powder, and lemon zest. Beat the wet ingredients into the dry without over mixing.

Pour the batter into a greased 9" cast-iron or square pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and the middle is set. Let stand for 20 minutes.

To make the syrup, combine the honey and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Whisk gently over medium heat until the honey is dissolved. Prick the cake several times with a skewer and pour the syrup all over the top of the cake.

Let the cake soak for an hour before slicing. Enjoy at room temperature with a hot cup of tea!