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Brussels Sprouts With Bacon, Maple Syrup And Mustard

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From Dorie Greenspan.

Serves 2 to 4 (depending on what you’re doing with the dish)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half from top to bottom
  • 3 to 6 strips meaty bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard (or Dijon), or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set up a steamer.  Salt the water in the steamer and season the Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper. Steam the sprouts until the tip of a small knife can easily poke but not completely pierce them, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove the sprouts and set them aside.  If you do this ahead of time, dunk the Brussels sprouts in ice water (or run cold water over them) to stop the cooking and dry them.
  2. While the sprouts are steaming, cook the bacon in a large saute or wok-shaped pan.  When the bacon is crisp, drain it between a triple thickness of paper towels, then coarsely chop the strips.
  3. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and add the olive oil to the pan.  Turn the heat to high and, when the oil is shimmering, add the Brussels sprouts.  Cook, turning a few times, until the sprouts are charred here and there and cooked crisp-tender.  Lower the head to medium and stir in 1 tablespoon of mustard followed by 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.  Season with salt and pepper, taste and add more mustard and/or syrup, if you’d like.

Serve NOW!

Bún Thịt Nướng (Bun Thit Nuong)

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From here.

Serves approximately 4-5

Ingredients:

For the Thịt Nướng (Pork):

  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Shallots, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemongrass, very finely minced (sả bằm)
  • 2 Green Onions, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (nước mắm)
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Pound Pork Shoulder, sliced into 2-3 inch strips

For the Accouterments:

  • 1 Package Vermicelli Noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • 1.5 Cups Slightly Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers*
  • 2 Cups Fresh Lettuce, roughly chiffonade
  • 1.5 Cups Fresh Bean Sprouts
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves
  • ½ Cup Roasted Peanuts, crushed
  • ½ Cup Green Onion infused Oil (hành mơ)**
  • 1½ Cups Dipping Sauce (nước chấm)***

Instructions for the Thịt Nướng (Pork):

In a large bowl, add honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients to combine. Add pork and mix to ensure that the meat has been thoroughly covered. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

While pork is marinating, prepare the accouterments:

Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers:

  • Cut carrots and cucumbers into small matchsticks and place in a small bowl.
  • Cover them with Rice Wine Vinegar and a pinch of Sugar.

Scallion Oil (hành mơ):

  • In a sauté pan, slowly heat ¼ cup of canola oil.
  • Add ½ cup chopped scallions.
  • Cook the scallions on very low heat until they are wilted but still bright green. Approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Pull from heat and set aside.

Dipping Sauce (nước chấm):

  • Combine ½ Cup Fish Sauce, ½ Cup Sugar, ½ Cup Fresh Lime Juice, ¼ Cup Warm Water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 Teaspoon Chili Paste. Adjust amounts to desired to taste.

Continue with the Pork

  1. Remove pork from the refrigerator 5-10 minutes before grilling to take the chill off the meat.
  2. Heat your grill pan to medium-high and lightly cover with cooking spray (or prepare outdoor grill).
  3. Grill meat for approximately 1-2 minutes on each side until browned. Since the meat is thin, it does not take long to cook.

To Assemble:

  • In a bowl, place the cooked vermicelli noodles, lettuce and bean sprouts.
  • Plate the warm grilled pork on top of the bowl, alongside with the pickled veggies and cilantro.
  • Brush the meat with the scallion oil and sprinkle with the crushed peanuts.
  • Serve with your preferred amount of nước chấm.

Dorie Greenspan’s Savory Tart Dough

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from “Around my French Table” – by Dorie Greenspan

While Dorie uses this dough for savories, it’s really an all-purpose recipe that produces a not-too-rich, slightly crisp crust that is as happy holding pastry cream for a strawberry tart as it is encasing a creamy cheese filling for a quiche. This is a good dough to use anytime you see a recipe calling for pâte brisée. Be prepared: The dough should chill for at least 3 hours.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ice water

Method

  1. To make the dough in a food processor: Put the flour, sugar and salt in the processor and whir a few times to blend. Scatter the bits of butter over the flour and pulse several times, until the butter is coarsely mixed into the flour. Beat the egg with the ice water and pour it into the bowl in 3 small additions, whirring after each one. (Don’t overdo it — the dough shouldn’t form a ball or ride on the blade.) You’ll have a moist, malleable dough that will hold together when pinched. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball (if the dough doesn’t come together easily, push it, a few spoonfuls at a time, under the heel of your hand or knead it lightly), and flatten it into a disk.
  2. To make the dough by hand: Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Drop in the bits of butter and, using your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until it is evenly distributed. You’ll have large and small butter bits, and that’s fine — uniformity isn’t a virtue here. Beat the egg and water together, drizzle over the dough, and, using a fork, toss the dough until it is evenly moistened. Reach into the bowl and, using your fingertips, mix and knead the dough until it comes together. Turn it out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball (if the dough doesn’t come together easily, push it, a few spoonfuls at a time, under the heel of your hand or knead it some more), and flatten it into a disk.
  3. Chill the dough for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
  4. When you’re ready to make the tart shell, butter a 9- to 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (butter it even if it’s nonstick).
  5. To roll out the dough: I like to roll out the dough between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a lightly floured rolling cover, but you can roll it out on a lightly floured work surface. If you’re working between sheets of paper or plastic wrap, lift the paper or plastic often so that it doesn’t roll into the dough, and turn the dough over frequently. If you’re just rolling on the counter, make sure to lift and turn the dough and reflour the counter often. The rolled-out dough should be about ¼ inch thick and at least 12 inches in diameter.
  6. Transfer the dough to the tart pan, easing it into the pan without stretching it. (What you stretch now will shrink in the oven later.) Press the dough against the bottom and up the sides of the pan. If you’d like to reinforce the sides of the crust, you can fold some of the excess dough over, so that you have a double thickness around the sides. Using the back of a table knife, trim the dough even with the top of the pan. Prick the base of the crust in several places with a fork.
  7. Chill — or freeze — the dough for at least 1 hour before baking.
  8. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Press a piece of buttered foil (or use nonstick foil) against the crust’s surface. If you’d like, you can fill the covered crust with rice or dried beans (which will be inedible after this but can be used for baking for months to come) to keep the dough flat, but this isn’t really necessary if the crust is well chilled. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the tart pan on the sheet.
  9. To partially bake the crust: Bake for 20 minutes, then very carefully remove the foil (with the rice or beans). Return the crust to the oven and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until it is lightly golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.
  10. To fully bake the crust: Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until it is an even golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.
  11. Storing: Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Although the fully baked crust can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer — it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

Gérard’s Mustard Tart

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Original is this NYT article.

Be sure to use strong mustard from Dijon. Dorie’s friend Gérard Jeannin uses Dijon’s two most popular mustards in his tart: smooth, known around the world as Dijon, and grainy or old-fashioned, known in France as “à l’ancienne.” You can use either one or the other, or you can adjust the proportions to match your taste, but whatever you do, make sure your mustard is fresh, bright colored, and powerfully fragrant. Do what Gérard would do: smell it first. If it just about brings tears to your eyes, it’s fresh enough for this tart.

Dough

This tart uses a dough like Dorie Greenspan’s Savory Tart Dough, though a pie crust will likely work well too.

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots (not too fat), trimmed and peeled
  • 3 thin leeks, white and light green parts only, cut lengthwise in half and washed
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard, preferably French, or to taste
  • Salt, preferably fleur de sel, and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 9- to 9½-inch tart shell made from Tart Dough (recipe below), partially baked and cooled

Method

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Cut the carrots and leeks into slender bâtons or sticks: First cut the carrots lengthwise in half, then place the halves cut side down on the cutting board and cut crosswise in half or cut into chunks about 3 inches long. Cut the pieces into 1/ 8- to 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks. If your carrots were fat and you think your matchsticks don’t look svelte enough, cut them lengthwise in half. Cut the leeks in the same way.
  • Fit a steamer basket into a saucepan. Pour in enough water to come almost up to the steamer, cover, and bring to a boil. Drop the carrots, leeks, and 1 rosemary sprig into the basket, cover, and steam until the vegetables are tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the vegetables and pat them dry; discard the rosemary sprig.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with the crème fraîche or heavy cream. Add the mustards, season with salt and white pepper — mustard has a tendency to be salty, so proceed accordingly — and whisk to blend. Taste and see if you want to add a little more of one or the other mustards.
  • Put the tart pan on the lined baking sheet and pour the filling into the crust. Arrange the vegetables over the filling — they can go in any which way, but they’re attractive arranged in spokes coming out from the center of the tart. Top with the remaining rosemary sprig and give the vegetables a sprinkling of salt and a couple of turns of the pepper mill.
  • Bake the tart for about 30 minutes, or until it is uniformly puffed and lightly browned here and there and a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean. Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and let it rest for 5 minutes before removing the sides of the pan.
  • Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature (or lightly chilled).
  • Serving: The tart is delicious just out of the oven, warm, at room temperature, or even slightly chilled — although that wouldn’t be Gérard’s preference, I’m sure. If you’re serving it as a starter, cut it into 6 portions; if it’s the main event, serve it with a lightly dressed small salad.
  • Storing: Like all tarts, this is best soon after it is made, but leftovers can be covered, chilled, and nibbled on the next day.

Variation – Tomato-Mustard Tart:

This is the original recipe and the one I think you’ll make often when ripe, juicy tomatoes are in season. You’ll need 1 super-large tomato, 1 or 2 regular-sized tomatoes, 2 or 3 plum tomatoes, or 15 to 20 cherry or grape tomatoes (this has to be approximate because I don’t know how big your tomatoes will be). If you’ve got cherry or grape tomatoes, cut them in half; if you’ve got round or plum tomatoes, cut them into slices about 1/3 to ½ inch thick. Arrange the halves (cut side down) or slices in the filled tart shell, and don’t worry when they sink into the filling; just take care not to put in so many halves or slices that the filling rises above the sides of the crust.

Salvadorian Guacamole

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Salvadorian Guacamole has hard boiled eggs and red radishes – it’s a bit strange, but delicious!

  • 5 avocados, cubed
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cubed
  • 2-3 tomatoes (a little more than the amount of eggs), chopped
  • 3-4 radishes, finely chopped
  • ½ large red onion, finely chopped
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional) the kernels from one ear of corn
  • 1-2 limes

Stir all the chunky bits together, add the lime juice, enjoy!

Secret Squirrel Hot Sauce

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This is a Secret Aardvark clone recipe I found out there somewhere…

  • 1 – 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes or roasted tomatoes chopped – include the juice
  • 1 & 3/4 cups of vinegar (rice wine, apple cidre, or white)
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup of sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 20 small Habaneros – seeded and membranes removed. (wear rubber gloves while you chop these up if possible)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 6 cloves of roasted garlic

Put it all in the crockpot on high until everything is tender. About 3 hours

Whirl in food processor – Don’t puree until smooth – make it lightly/finely chunky.

Makes 3 pints. I’ve noticed that it seems to keep perfectly well on the counter. But I keep the extra stuff frozen.

Note – extra stewing time and freezing will both make the recipe a bit more mild.

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole

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Serves 12.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth, more if needed for thinning
  • 3 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 pound white button or crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 whole medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup panko

Preparation Instructions

  1. Add the wild rice into a medium saucepan with 5 cups of the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the rice until it has just started to break open and is slightly tender, about 35 to 40 minutes Set it aside.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli by throwing the florets into boiling water for 1½ to 2 minutes, until bright green and still slightly crisp. Immediately drain the broccoli and plunge it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove it from the ice water and set it aside.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, then melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions and the mushrooms and cook, stirring them occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid begins to evaporate. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture begins to turn darker in color.
  4. Sprinkle the flour on the vegetables and stir to incorporate it, then cook for about a minute. Pour in the remaining 3 cups of broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, stirring to combine. Let the mixture cook until it thickens. Season with the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  5. Add half the cooked rice to the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, then lay on half the broccoli. (You can do one layer of each or two layers of each. Using a ladle, scoop out the vegetable/broth mixture and spoon it evenly all over the top. Continue with the rest of the sauce, totally covering the surface with vegetables.
  6. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, then pour it into a separate bowl with the panko breadcrumbs. Toss the mixture together to coat the breadcrumbs in butter, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top.
  7. Cover with foil and bake the casserole at 375°F for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Sprinkle on the parsley after you remove it from the oven.

From http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/11/broccoli-wild-rice-casserole/

Pear & Hazelnut Muffins

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Makes 12-16  muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 small-medium firm pears
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (plus more for cups)
  • 2/3 cup (125 grams) natural cane sugar, such as Turbinado, light brown or granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, which I replaced with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, which I replaced with 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (120 grams) toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate chunks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line it with papers.
  2. Peel (if you so desire, can be skipped) pears, then halve and core them. Grate pears on the large holes of a boxed grater into a large bowl. You should have about 1 cup grated. Stir in melted butter, sugar, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the oats, flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt, all but 1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, and chocolate chunks, if you’re feeling extra indulgent. Gently fold this dry ingredient mixture into the wet batter until just combined; do not overmix.
  4. Fill muffin cups almost up to the top and sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Place muffins in oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375°F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out batter-free.
  5. Cool muffins in pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Muffins will keep for 2 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

From http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/01/pear-and-hazelnut-muffins/

Breakfast Potatoes

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Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, garlic, onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, olive oil, butter, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and some kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Pour potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan twice.
  4. Raise the heat to 500 degrees and bake until crisp and brown, 15 to 20 minutes, tossing twice.
  5. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper before serving.

From http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/08/best-breakfast-potatoes-ever/

Buckwheat Baby with Salted Caramel Syrup

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Serves 2 (for breakfast) to 4 (for dessert) or 6 to 8 (as a dainty dessert)

Caramel syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or, salted but ease up on the sea salt)
  • Two pinches flaked or fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Pancake

  • 3 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon table or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar, to dust (optional)
  • Salted caramel syrup

Make syrup:

  1. Melt the sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a larger pot than you think you’ll need–at least two quarts, whisking or stirring the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly.
  2. Cook the liquefied sugar to a nice copper color.
  3. Add the sea salt and butter and stir until the butter melts.
  4. Lower the heat and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream, whisking the whole time. The sauce will foam and hiss; just ignore it and whisk until the sauce is smooth.
  5. Set aside until needed.
  6. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Rewarm gently to thin it out.

Make pancake:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk the flours, sugar, salt, milk and eggs together in a medium bowl. Leaving a couple lumps behind is fine.
  3. Melt butter in a 12-inch cast skillet, preferably cast iron but any heavy ovenproof skillet should work. Roll the butter around a bit so it goes up the sides.
  4. Pour in the batter and transfer skillet to the oven.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the pancake browns lightly at the edges and rumpled.
  6. Transfer to a trivet, dust with powdered sugar (if using), drizzle with salted caramel syrup and serve immediately in halves or wedges.

From http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/01/buckwheat-baby-with-salted-caramel-syrup/

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