Blini

 

  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, clarified, divided

Combine both flours, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and 1 tablespoon of the clarified butter, then whisk into the flour mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of the clarified butter in a medium saute pan and drop the batter into the hot skillet, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cook over medium-low heat until bubbles form on the top side of the blini, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 more minute, or until brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.

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Swedish Meatballs

Meatballs:

  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
  • 2 Tablespoons (35 ml) cream (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH of black pepper and ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 of an onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound (500 g) ground beef
  • 1/2 pound (250 g) ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For gravy:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef broth (or stock)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Instructions
In a large bowl, mix the breadcrumbs together with the milk, cream (if using), egg, garlic, salt, peppers and spice. Allow the milk to soak into the breadcrumbs for at least 10 minutes. Once the milk has absorbed some, add in the onion, meat(s) and parsley. Mix well with your hands to combine. Roll meat into about 24 small balls, or 16 larger balls.

Heat 1 tablespoon of  oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Fry meatballs in batches so they don’t stew or simmer. Transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil.

Gravy:  Add 4 Tablespoons butter and flour to skillet and whisk until it turns brown. Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream. Add worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

 

 

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Coffee and Walnut Cake

This recipe is by Richard Burr from The Great British Bake Off.  I modified the recipe to just one cake instead of 18 mini-cakes.

For the sponge:
unsalted butter, for greasing
75g/2½oz walnut pieces
225g/8oz caster sugar
225g/8oz unsalted butter
175g/6oz plain flour
3 tsp instant decaffeinated coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 large free-range eggs
4 tsp whole milk

For the filling and topping:
500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar
175g/6oz unsalted butter
2½ tsp instant decaffeinated coffee, dissolved in enough boiling water to make a smooth paste
3-4 tsp lustre dust (optional)
100g/3½oz walnut pieces, crushed
chocolate coffee beans, to decorate (optional)

For the sponge, preheat the oven to 325F and grease and line two 9x13in baking trays with baking parchment.
For the sponge, put the walnuts and sugar in a food processor and grind to a coarse powder consistency. Transfer to a large bowl or a freestanding mixer. Add butter to the bowl and cream until smooth and light. Sift in the flour and continue to mix. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix to a smooth consistency.

Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins and smooth the surface. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown and springy to touch. Leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out of the tins onto wire racks.

When the cakes are completely cool, split the cakes into two layers.

For the filling, sift 350g/12oz icing sugar into a large bowl or a freestanding mixer. Add the butter, half the coffee mixture and the lustre dust and mix until you have a smooth buttercream icing with a soft golden shimmer. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.

For the topping, mix the remaining coffee paste with four tablespoons of water. Sift the remaining icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the coffee mixture to make glacé icing for the tops of the cakes. If the icing is very thick add more water until the icing runs off a spoon in thick ribbons.

To assemble the cakes, pipe coffee buttercream icing on top of one. Top with another layer of cake and pipe more buttercream on top. Top with another layer of cake and pipe more buttercream on top. Add a final layer of cake and drizzle the glacé icing over. Top with crushed walnut pieces and chocolate coffee beans, if using.

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Cornmeal pate brisee

From the Bojon Gourmet

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour (finely ground cornmeal) or cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/4 cup ice water

I use a food processor because I am impatient, but you could follow his directions:

“Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Scatter over the butter chunks and work in with your fingers until some pea-sized chunks remain. Sprinkle in the water a tablespoon at a time, tossing with your hands, until the dough just comes together and no floury bits remain.”

Gently press the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, and stick in plastic bag. Chill in the fridge until firm, 30-45 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an even 14″ round. Fit into a 10″ tart pan, fold over the edges and trim flush with the pan. Chill 30 minutes.

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Earl Grey Tea Cake

  • 3 tbsp Earl Grey tea
  • 120g (4½ oz) unsalted butter
  • 8 free-range eggs
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 250g (9oz) plain flour
  • Buttercream frosting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 8-in springform cake tin.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the tea. When melted, remove from the heat.
  3. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat in the sugar using an electric mixer. Beat until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape for several seconds when drizzled on its surface (known as the ribbon stage, this can take around 15 minutes). Sift in a third of the flour and fold in using a large metal spoon. Sift in another third of the flour and fold in as before. Sift in the remaining flour into the butter mixture and mix well then gently fold into the rest of the batter.
  4. Transfer the batter to the tin and bake for 45 minutes (checking regularly to make sure it doesn’t over brown). When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Add a generous layer of buttercream to the bottom layer of cake and then place the other layer on top. Transfer the cake to a serving board or cake stand.
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Baked Haddock

  • 1 lb. haddock, rinsed and patted dry (or other mild-tasting white fish, such as catfish, flounder, pollock, or cod)
  • 2/3 cup Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon wedges/slices, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour a little of the melted butter in a baking dish and spread to coat the bottom.  Salt and pepper both sides of the fish, and lay in the buttered baking dish. Combine the crumbled Ritz with the rest of the melted butter. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the fish.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until fish is cooked thoroughly (and flakes easily). Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

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Katharine Hepburn’s Brownie Recipe

kh-brownie-recipe-small

KATHARINE HEPBURN’S BROWNIE RECIPE

… translated from her memo above:
Two 1-ounce squares bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (plus more for the pan)
1 cup granulated sugar
large eggs (unbeaten)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour
  1. Set your oven at 325 degrees
  2. Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang so you can easily remove the brownies. Grease the parchment with butter.
  3. In small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and chocolate. Set aside to cool.
  4. To the cooled pan, mix in sugar, eggs, salt, walnuts, vanilla and flour. Stir just to combine, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Katharine-Hepburn-Quotes

Options:  toast the walnuts; add sea salt; add bourbon…

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