Recipe: Blueberry Black Pepper Pie

Oct 2

Double Pie crust

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 2/3 cups flour

1 tbs sugar

1 tsp Salt

1/2 cup ice cold water

Filling

20 ounces cultivated blueberries

10 ounces wild blue berries

1 cup Sugar

3 tbs tapioca ground fine

1 tsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

In a large bowl add berries (frozen berries are fine, there is no need to thaw frozen berries). Add sugar, tapioca powder, lemon zest and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour into uncooked pie crust. Cover with top pie crust. Crimp edge and brush top with egg wash. Bake in 425 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, until crust is puffed and golden, and berries are bubbling.

Cool for 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

Egg Wash

Recipe: Dutch Apple Pie

Crust:

1 stick (1/2 cup or 115g)unsalted butter

3/4 cup (115 g) flour

1.5 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp fine salt

1/4 cup ice cold water

Filling:

3 lbs apples, (2lbs granny smith or other tart, firm apple, and 1lb sweet medium firm like fuji)

1/4 cup flour

1 tbs cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup white sugar

3 tbs cold unsalted butter cut in 1/4 dice

Pinch of salt

Topping:

1/2 cup Unsalted butter

1 cup Flour

2/3 cup Brown sugar

1 tbs granulated sugar

Egg wash:

1 beaten egg

1 tbs water or milk

Make the crust. Cube the butter into 1/4 inch cubes and chill. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Toss butter cubes to coat. Smash each butter cube between your thumb and index finger to flatten. When all butter cubes have been flattened, stir in ice cold water and mix until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. On a floured surface roll out dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Fold into thirds, then wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. (Can be made in advance and refrigerated for 1 day or frozen for 1 month)

Make filling.

Peel and core the apples, and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place apple slices in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Toss the apples with the flour mixture, cover loosely with plastic or a tea towel and set aside to macerate for 20-30 minutes. (Can be made up to 1 day in advance. If making in advance, toss apple slices with 1 tbs lemon juice, and add an extra tsp of flour to the flour mixture. Keep refrigerated until ready to use).

Make topping. Cube butter. In a medium bowl combine flour and sugars. Toss butter wth flour mixture and rub together until the mixture is the texture of sand. (Can be made 1-3 days in advance and kept refrigerated)

Assemble and bake:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line glass pie plate with pie crust and crimp edge. Layer apple mixture in crust, sprinkling with finely cubed butter bits as you go. Pour in any juices that have collected at the bottom of the apple bowl. Brush a bit of egg wash on the exposed edges of the pie crust. Top the pie with the streusel topping. Bake until bubbling and apples are soft, but not dissolved, about 35-45 minutes. Cover the crust edged with a strip of foil if they begin to brown too quickly.

Cool for at least 2 hours before serving. All components can be made a day in advance. Assemble the pie just before baking.

Recipe: Pescado Los Feliciano

AUGUST 7TH

It is not all pies and Mac n’ cheese molded into giant mozzarella sticks around the Sidework househould. Most of the time I try to eat healthfully.

This dish evolved out of a Pescado Veracruzano that was on the menu at a restaurant I managed several years ago. The restaurant dish featured a feared fish filet atop a bed of rice surrounded by a rich broth packed with lime, onion, olives, oregano and tomatoes. It was delicious.

So I took that idea and amped up the nutritional density by switching out the rice for quinoa and adding the ubiquitous southern california hippie brassica du jour, kale. Thus the name, Pescado Los Feliciano, after the arty-crunchy LA neighborhood where I live.

The result is a forgiving dish that is sustaining yet light, comforting yet healthful. It comes together easily for a weeknight dinner but is impressive enough to serve for company. If you are overcoming a cold, dial up the lemon and garlic and let the steamy broth carry it into your bones. This truly is a go to dish for me.

For a vegetarian version, I double the quinoa and turn it into fritters. Then serve an island of fritters in a rich vegetable stock. Continue reading

Recipe: Mozzarella Stick Mac n’ cheese

Crust

2.5 cups Panko Breadcrumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 tsp dried garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 stick unsalted butter, melted (plus more for greasing the baking dish)

Macaroni

2 cups elbow macaroni

1 12 ounce can evaporated milk

4 tbs butter

2 eggs

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp dried mustard

Pinch of paprika

2 cups Mozzarella, shredded

1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

4-6 slices provolone (or other melty cheese)

To serve: 1-2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (homemade, or I like Bertoli’s Tomato and Basil)

Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a glass loaf pan with butter and set aside. In a large bowl combine panko, parmesan, dried garlic and basil. Gradually add melted butter and stir to combine with crumb mixture until the mixture becomes the texture of wet sand. Add more butter or olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time if the mix is too dry to hold together when squeezed. Press the crust mixture into the baking pan, taking care to pack well into the corners. Using 3/4 of the mixture, Fill shell with baking weights in a sheet of parchment and blind bake until crust is golden. Reserve 1/4 of the mixture for assembly.

Meanwhile, prepare macaroni filling–

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook macaroni noodles 7-8 minutes, until partially softened. Drain and return to pan. Over medium heat, add butter to noodles and stir until melted. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, white pepper and paprika. Add egg mixture once butter has melted and stir until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in mozzarella and parmesan.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees f. Fill the panko shell halfway with macaroni mixture. Layer in provolone slices down the center, pressing gently to pack the macaroni noodles together. Add remaining macaroni until the macaroni nearly fills the pan, about a 1/4 of an inch from the rim of the pan. Top with the remaining panko breadcrumb mixture, making sure the breadcrumbs reach the corners of the dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the center is bubbling.

Allow to cool 10 minutes. Loosen the edges of the casserole with a dull knife. Place a serving dish over the top of the pan and– using potholders– carefully invert the pan onto the dish, shaking the pan slightly until the crust releases from the pan. Top with your favorite tomato sauce, and serve!

Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis

Recipe Video here!

Cherry Clafoutis

3 cups dark, sweet cherries (fresh or frozen), pitted and halved

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp flour

Pinch cinnamon

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup sugar, separated into 1/3 cup portions

1 tbs vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 tbs butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place cherries on a foil lined baking sheet and roast until soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice, 2 tsp flour and a healthy pinch of cinnamon. Set aside.

In the pitcher of a blender, or a large flat bowl with an immersion blender, combine milk, eggs, 1/3 cup of sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend on high until combined, about 1 minute. Melt 1 tbs butter in a heavy bottom, oven safe skillet. Pour in a 1/4 inch layer of custard and cook over medium heat until set. Remove from heat.

Add half of the cherries, sprinkle with 1/3 of the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, then pour on the rest of the custard, finish with the remaining cherries and sugar.

Bake in 425 degree oven until puffed and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before serving in wedges.