Posts Tagged 'savory'

Pipe Dream # 184: To Use All The Blubber -Spicy Curry Squash Seeds


I know I post out of season things a lot. It’s a problem. And this post is a little off too, but just listen! I actually did eat this in March. I just felt like some squash, ok? It doesn’t have to be October for a girl to desire a squash. Probably A Vitamin-deficient.


Anyway, enough of my excuses. This trick is one of my favorite efficient-life tricks. You can use the whole squash, like Native Americans used to use every part of the buffalo or every part of a washed-up whale. You know, boiling down the blubber for leather tanner or something. No? I may have read too many books as a child.

Ok, step one. Remove the seeds from your squash. Set aside. Roast squash and eat  it with a glass of Sauv Blanc.


Step Two: Rinse the seeds and pick off all the stringy bits. Blot with a paper towel.


Step Three: Spread the seeds in an even layer on an aluminum-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and desired spices.  I used salt, pepper, cumin, curry and cayenne. You could go sweet though! Sugar and cinnamon would be nice.

Step Four: Using the “Toast” setting on a toaster oven or 450 degrees in  the oven, toast the seeds, stirring and checking them frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Toast until golden. It might take ten minutes. I never know because I keep a close eye. I’ve burnt them too many times.


Step Five: Let cool, then store in an airtight container. Snackalicious!


Pipe Dream #180: To Get Paid To Make Sandwiches – Black Garlic Herb Bread

art bread 1

There are a few things in life that I pay people to do for me. Ok, there are a lot of things I pay people to do for me. Make my clothes, develop my photos, do my taxes (yeah, I’m lame, SO WUT.)

Food-wise, there is not a lot that I like to pay actual paper dollars for other people to do for me. I mean, I like to cook, and I like to know what I’m putting in my food. And usually, I can do it just as well or better than someone else.

However, if I do pay for food, it’s usually because the producer can offer something that I actually can’t do myself. For example, I pay someone to make me Chinese food and deliver it to my door because I know I can’t reproduce those flavors well enough with my limited supply of exotic cooking oils and MSG. I pay for doughnuts because I don’t own an industrial size vat of oil (and I feel better eating them not seeing the deep FAT frying process go down.)

The exception to this is sandwiches. I regularly pay for people to make sandwiches for me, but it’s not because I couldn’t make a better sandwich. I’m pretty all right at sandwiches. What I’m really paying for is for someone to take out all the individual ingredients from the fridge and portion them out into single servings and then arrange them. Sew annoying for me to do. So yeah, I’ll pay you $4 for that ham sandwich.

art bread 2

Lots of times, I’ll pay for artisan-style bread, too. You know, the kind with the crunchy, chewy crust and deep flavor. Sidenote, anyone know why they call it artisan-“style?” Like, in the style of an artisan? Where all my artisans at? We need more artisans in this world.

Other sidenote, does anyone shop the roasted garlic artisan bread at Costco? It is so fab the day it’s baked. All you need is a swipe of butter. It’s also great for fondue. Ok, I have to stop talking about that now.

art bread 5

art bread 3

And start talking about this bread. That I made. And it was actually artisan-y! I didn’t even think it was possible for me to accomplish this. I heard last year that the way they get that chewy, crunchy outer crust is by trapping steam in the oven right at the beginning of the bake time. I forget why this works. Anyway, I promptly dismissed bread-making. I mean, who has a steam-trapping oven conveniently located in their kitchen?

art bread 6

I saw a recipe on Tasty Kitchen for No-Knead Bread, which is one of those Pinterest food trends I missed because I don’t even like Pinterest. The more I checked out the blogger reviews of the technique, the more I liked the idea. I mean, all you do is chuck everything together, let it sit over night and then bake it up. And I was real intrigued after I saw the NYT recipe that created a faux-steam-oven in a cast iron pot. Could I, even I, make artisan-style bread?

art bread 7

art bread 8

I actually did this bread twice. I made up my own recipe as an amalgamation of a few no-knead bread recipes, including HERBS (the best) and big hunks of BLACK GARLIC (whose superfood properties you can read about here).

So I made up this big batch of dough, but tried two different techniques to bake the bread. The first one is linked below, but the technique was not as good as the NYT version I linked below. It involved filling a pan with boiling water shutting the oven door really quick to create the steam.

The resulting bread was good, but the NYT bread had that crunchy crust I was looking for, and the consistency of the crumb was better and holey-er. Because bread is so affected by miniscule changes in ingredients and technique, I am interested to try the NYT recipe to the letter next time. And there will be a next time.

art bread 4

Here is the open-faced egg and parm sandwich I made for my family. The bread was so good I went to the trouble of making a sandwich. No one paid me, unfortunately.

Steaming happy,


Black Garlic Herb Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey and Tasty Kitchen

2 tablespoons fresh or dried herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 package active dry yeast (.75 ounce packets)
1  tablespoon salt
3 1/4 cups white, whole-wheat flour
1 head black garlic, peeled

Chop up the herbs very finely, using a knife or kitchen shears.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the warm water (about 100 degrees F) with the salt until dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the top of the water, and let the mixture sit for 2-4 minutes.

Mix the herbs and garlic thoroughly into your flour.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the yeast mixture until there are no dry spots and the dough forms into a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm room (about 70 degrees F) for 12-18 hours.

When the dough is risen and dotted with bubbles, lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. If you like, you can split the dough in half and make two smaller loaves if you have two pots. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour and put the dough seam side down on towel, dusting with more flour. Cover with another cotton towel, and let rise for an hour.

A half hour before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered cast-iron pot in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven–don’t burn yourself! Turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up, shaking the pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed. Cover with the pot lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is a deep brown browned. Let cool on a rack before slicing into the bread to retain the moisture.

Yields one 1½-pound loaves, or two smaller loaves.

Pipe Dream #177: To Find It Easy To Be Green – Deep Dish Tomato and Spinach Pizza

deep dish pizza 5

Oooooh-kay. I realize that this picture has been tantalizing you on the side of my blog for weeks without a link. It has been tantalizing me for weeks. Except, I had the link, and I ate this pizza, so I can’t tell if the tantalization of this savory delight was worse or better for you than it was for me.

My father made a decent deep-dish frozen pizza and asked me, “Why is this so addicting?”

I replied that it hits his fat and salt spots, and everyone in the room nodded sagely, because obviously I am sage (not). Being that your salts spots are not hit too often on this blog, and being that that is the weirdest phrase ever, I would like to present you with this deep dish pan pizza, including homemade sauce, spinach for iron and much, much cheese.

deep dish pizza 4

Oh, and speaking of being wise (not), there is fresh sage in this recipe. You just don’t see that in dessert recipes all too often. Or do you?

floured board

deep dish pizza 3

If I were to do this again, I would have used less dough. The dish was quite deep enough, when all was said and done, and let’s be real, I could have made another dessert pizza with half the dough. I also would have made the sauce a little less runny. Somehow. Maybe I would have drained the tomatoes a little better.

deep dish pizza 2

I only put spinach on half the pizza. It was for the sake of my sister, who loves pizza, but has an aversion to the green things on her life’s plate. You can have an aversion, too, I guess. I’ll judge you a little, but just a little, since most of my diet is frosting. Kidding. Except for #saturdays. Am I allowed to hashtag like that? Whatever, doing it.

deep dish pizza 1

Get your health kicks, friends. It’s all about the green.

So easy being green,


Deep Dish Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Adapted from Girl Versus Dough and my friend, Chrissy

Boughten pizza dough (enough for a 12 inch pizza)

8 ounces (1 cup) canned crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh thyme, sage, oregano and bay leaf

garlic paste or crushed garlic, to taste

olive oil (or truffle oil)

8 ounces provolone cheese

5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained

Let pizza dough rise according to package directions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil, spreading around with a paper towel.

Combine tomatoes, salt, pepper, chopped herbs, bay leaf, sugar and garlic in a small saucepan, simmering over low heat while you prep the pizza.

When the dough has risen, press into the prepared skillet halfway up the sides of the skillet. Bake four 9-10 minutes until crust has just set. Remove from the oven and top with 4 ounces provolone cheese. Remove the bay leaf from the simmered sauce, then spread the sauce over the cheese. Top sauce with the spinach, then the other 4 ounces of cheese. Drizzle with a bit more oil.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden. In a perfect world, I would have used less dough, so that things weren’t spilling over the edge. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Pipe Dream #140: To Feed Families Everywhere – Three Cheese, Potato & Carameli(s)ed Onion Pie

Well. Isn’t that luscious.

That was literally my first thought on seeing this picture, and this pie is not even full of whipped cream.

This is the kind of savory pie that will feed a crowd. This is the kind of pie that hits the spot on those chilly fall nights. This is the kind of pie that you eat for Sunday lunch because you know you can take a 3-hour nap afterward. What, you never do that? Ok, whatever. But still, this could feed your family for a week, probably.

The preparation process was fairly involved given the amount of chopping and grating required. (Luckily, no incidents occurred.) Read the recipe carefully, and do all possible prep a day ahead if you can.

I didn’t use the Stilton or Gruyère cheese called for in the recipe because I had an abundance of other random cheeses in the fridge. Cheese freaks, we are. However, I think this pie really would have benefited from the flavor of a stronger cheese; it was a bit bland with the Swiss I used. If you make this, try it with the Stilton. Or maybe a bleu?

Also, this is a real English pie! I felt a little bit like James Herriot digging into it. Not that there were any bovine hindquarters anywhere near, but he does have a way with describing the different English fare he experiences. The pastry itself was a little finnicky to make (most pastry is save these), but it was well worth the effort. Super flaky and delicious.

I had a bit of leftover pastry, so I cut it up and made little flowers for the top. This is actually the reason I am even qualifying this recipe for my blog. If it had been less cutesy, probably all of my baking followers would have written me off and never visited again. Probably.

Like I said, super flaky.

Feeding families errwhere,


Three Cheese, Potato & Caramelised Onion Pie

Adapted from The Great British Bakeoff

For the pastry:
150 g/5 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
200 g/7 oz all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp white vinegar
about 150 ml/5 fl oz cold water

For the filling:
30 g/1 oz butter
280 g/10 oz onions, peeled, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar
930 g/2 lb 1 oz potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
140 g/5 oz crème fraîche (or sour cream)
4 tbsp heavy cream
100 g/3½ oz mature cheddar, grated
100 g/3½ oz Stilton, crumbled*
100 g/3½ oz Gruyère, grated*
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten

*Note that I used Swiss and what I think was a Pecorino Romano in place of the Stilton and Gruyère. It would have been more flavorful with the Stilton.
Preparation method:
1. To make the pastry, place the butter into a bowl and mash with a fork until soft and creamy. Divide the mixture into four equal portions.
2. Place the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Take one portion of the butter mixture and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the vinegar and mix it in using a blunt
knife. Add just enough cold water to form a dough then turn it out onto a floured work surface.
3. Shape the dough into a rectangle and roll it out to a thickness of about 1 cm/½ in. Gently lift the pastry with your fingers and allow it to shrink back a little.
4. Cut another portion of the butter mixture into small pieces using a palette knife and dot it over the pastry, being careful not to get it too close to the edges. Fold the pastry into thirds, rubbing off any excess flour as you do so, cover in cling film and place in the fridge for five minutes.
5. Take the pastry from the fridge. Repeat steps 3 and 4 using the remaining butter. If any fat shows through the pastry, scatter over a little more flour.
6. Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll once more into a rectangle about 1 cm/½ in thick, fold into thirds and return to the fridge for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the butter in a wide pan and add the onions, salt and sugar. Fry over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, or until the onions are lightly caramelised. Remove
the pan from the heat and set aside.
8. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling, salted water for eight minutes, drain well then set aside.
9. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7, with a rack is just above the middle of the oven and a baking tray underneath to catch any filling that might escape during cooking.
10. Mix the crème fraîche, cream and cheddar in a small bowl. Mix together the Stilton and Gruyère in a separate bowl.
11. Layer one quarter of the potatoes, a third of the onions and a third of the Stilton/Gruyère mixture in the bottom of a large pie dish. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground black pepper and grated
12. Repeat step 11, working from the outside of the pie dish into the middle to achieve a domed effect, seasoning as you go, then pour over half the cream/cheddar mixture. Repeat this step then cover
the filling with the remaining potato, ensuring none of the cream mixture is visible.
13. Take the pastry from the fridge and place on a floured work surface. Roll out in one direction only, turn 45 degrees and roll again until you have a piece of pastry that is a little larger than the pie dish. Lift
the pastry with your fingers to allow it to shrink back a little.
14. Cut thin strips from each edge of the pastry and use a little egg wash to stick each one to the rim of the pie dish. Brush each strip with beaten egg and carefully place the pastry over the filling, pressing it down on the pastry strips to make a good seal.
15. Take a fork and press down gently around the edges of the pie. Use any off-cuts of pastry to decorate the pie then brush the top with the remaining egg wash. Cut a small cross in the top of the pie
to let the steam escape.
16. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 30 minutes then reduce the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake the pie for one hour or until golden-brown.

Pipe Dream #116: To Pick Right – Truffled Parmesan Biscuits with Ham, Asparagus and Pesto

It just so happened that I celebrated my birthday when I visited Nice this last April (pictures to come this week). Clearly, I’ve never had it so good. I didn’t make myself a cake, I didn’t plan my own party. I just had to choose the restaurant, which is actually kind of a big deal if you are on vacation with your friends. I mean, if the biggest thing you have to worry about is which fabulous restaurant to pick among hundreds, I’d say you’re doing pretty well, but it’s still a lot of pressure, trying to make everyone happy and all that. But I didn’t worry too much. It was my birthday.

Anyway, we went to this place called Terre de Truffes (Earth of Truffles, I think) that was totally dead (it was a Wednesday night). After debating outside for a few minutes, we decided to chance it and walked in. And we were glad.

I’ll just say this. After a full thirty minutes of poring over the menu and exclaiming over the food and gasping repeatedly at the bountiful subtler-than-garlic-but-better-than-garlic-if-you-can-believe-that offerings (things like fresh sea scallops with shaved truffles, truffle saffron reduction and truffled romano potatoes and truffled caramel baba au rhum), we finally decided. And really, there was no way we could have gone wrong. I had never had truffles before, and it is likely that I will never have such a truffle experience ever again. Especially considering the bill for three…but it was totally worth it.

So imagine my surprise when I got home. My mother had bough a whole bottle of truffle oil without even knowing my newfound truffle love! Needless to say, I was very pleased and even more pleased when I found this truffle biscuit recipe.

These biscuits are easy to prepare and turn out very flaky. Make sure your biscuit dough is cold, and you’re golden. Add some accompanying flavors and you have a whole meal deal. Plus the experience of a truffle lifetime. I’m sure you could make them with regular olive oil too, but really, just get some truffle oil. It will change you for the better.



Truffled Parmesan Biscuits with Ham, Asparagus and Pesto

Adapted from aspicyperspective

For the biscuits:

2 cups  all-purpose flour
1-½ tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
¾ cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon shaved truffle (or 1 teaspoon truffle oil)
⅓ cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter, or egg wash

For the rest of it:

1 cup pesto, fresh or jarred (I used a dehydrated sundried tomato pesto)

12 slices ham, proscuitto, or whatever else you have around

4 or 5 asparagus spears, cut into 2 inch pieces

Heat oven to 450ºF with the rack in the center.

Using a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients together. Add the butter and shortening, then pulse until it resembles course chopped nuts. Add the buttermilk, truffles and Parmesan, then pulse again until it forms moist clumps.

Dump the wet dough onto a well floured surface. Flour your hands and press the dough into an even rectangle, 1 1/4 inch high. Use a 2-inch cutter to cut the biscuits. Gather the scraps, press and cut again; you should have 12 biscuits all together. (Try to cut as many in the first round as possible. The second batch will be slightly tougher.)

Using the melted butter or egg wash, brush the top of each biscuits and place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle them with sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes.

While the biscuits are baking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil (or truffle oil) in a frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, chuck in the asparagus and season with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until the spears have turned bright green and are slightly tender. They should not be super soft.

While the biscuits are warm, crack them open and smear them with pesto. Then layer a piece of prosciutto and three asparagus chunks on each biscuit and place the top back on.

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