Archive for June, 2011

Fresh Pea Soup

Fresh English peas have an all-too-brief season in early summer. Barely cooked in a stock scented with leeks, then pureed to creamy smoothness, they make a lively green soup with paradoxical qualities: rich and flavorful, yet light and fresh.

Sardine and Tomato Bruschetta

Bruschetta (from the Italian word ‘bruscare’ meaning ‘to roast over coals‘) are substantial slices of bread, grilled or toasted, then rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. With a hearty topping such as sardines they make a quick dinner, great for busy nights when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. Sardines are a superhero food: loaded with calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein and iron. As an added plus, they are low on the food chain, so are a more sustainable source of these nutrients than a carnivore fish such as tuna. Pair them with juicy-ripe summer tomatoes for a fast and flavorful bruschetta.

Pain d’ Cocotte — Bread Baked in a cocotte!

A variation on the wildly popular ‘No-Knead Bread’ recipe introduced by Mark Bittman. Mild-flavored beer and vinegar are added to the basic ingredients to contribute complex, artisanal notes to the flavor. This recipe produces wonderful bread — crackingly crisp crust, moist and chewy crumb, rich flavor — with a minimum of effort. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool completely before slicing it! It’s best eaten the day it’s baked, but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

Chocolate-Chestnut Macarons

Macarons are the petite jewels of the dessert set. Dainty, yet decadent. At once crunchy and chewy. Delicately tinted or neon-hued to indicate the flavor combinations, filled with tart jams, decadent buttercreams, tangy citrus curds, rich ganaches… the variations are endless, and delicious. Macarons aren’t difficult to make, given a good recipe, proper equipment, and the right technique, so this recipe gives detailed info on how and why to do things. Allez, let’s make some macarons!