Apples in Puff Pastry

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I like to use different varieties)
  • 1/4 c dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c toasted pecans
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork. Stir the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the apples, nuts and cherries and toss to coat.
  2. Sprinkle the remaining flour on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, spoon the apple mixture onto the bottom half of the pastry sheet to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll up like a jelly roll. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet (this will help keep it from unrolling during baking). Tuck the ends under to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let the pastry cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Ground Pork, Apples & Cabbage

This dish is a one pot wonder – a perfect fall dinner. it comes together in less than 30 minutes and tastes amazing.

Ingredients

1 lb ground pork

1/2 small to medium cabbage, chopped

1 garlic clove minced

1 small onion, chopped

2 apples of choice (gala, pink lady, honeycrisp work great), chopped

3 tbsp chopped sage

1/4 tsp onion powder

1 tsp fresh thyme

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp salt

Mix seasoning into ground pork. Make sure it is evenly distributed.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil, add the onion, garlic, apples and pork into the pan, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and breaking up the pork. Once the pork starts to brown add the cabbage and continue to cook until slightly wilted and the pork is cooked through.

Serve with some toasted sourdough bread.

Spicy Tomato Braised Pot Roast

So easy! I served over polenta with a nice green salad.

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Calabrian peppers or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 2- to 2½-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • Whisk wine, tomato paste, Calabrian peppers (or crushed red pepper), Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir in carrot, onion and garlic. Season beef with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and add to the slow cooker. Cook until the beef is tender, about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Fig Clafoutis

Such a simple and tasty dessert – those french are so smart!

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 2 c halved fresh figs
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • 1Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter a 10-inch glass pie plate. Arrange the figs cut side up in an even layer in the plate.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the milk with the melted butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the flour until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter evenly over the figs and bake for about 40 minutes, until golden and puffed. Let the clafoutis rest for 5 minutes before serving

Strawberry Shrub

Shrubs are so easy and so yummy! You can mix with sparkling water for a super refreshing beverage or spike it if you need something stronger. I used my own very sweet berries so I cut the sugar in 1/2. If your using frozen or store bought, I would increase it by 1/4 c.

1 c apple cider vinegar

1 c strawberries

1/2 c sugar

2 inch strip of lemon rind

Combine strawberries, sugar, vinegar and lemon zest in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain into an airtight heatproof container. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or up to 1 week.

Watermelon Salad

This salad is amazing!! Perfect for a hot summer day! Sweet, crunchy, salty and umami from the miso dressing.

Watermelon – 3/4 inch diced: 1 pint


English cucumber – thin half-moons: a few slices

Couple grinds of black pepper

A few sprigs of mint, chopped

2 tbsp sunflower seeds


1/4 c Feta, crumbled


1 tsp alleppo or red chilli flakes


Miso dressing https://cookinwithchris.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/miso-dressing/dressing

Directions:
Toss all ingredients together leaving out the mint and sunflower seeds. Place in a serving bowl and top with sunflower seeds and mint leaves.

Miso Dressing

This dressing is amazing!! Unami, sweet, a little spicy from the ginger! It lasts for weeks in the fridge. It makes a LOT of dressing.

1/3 c Miso paste
1/3 c Honey
1 tbsp Ginger
2 c Rice vinegar
3 c grape seed or neutral oil
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp Sesame oil


In a blender add miso paste, honey, vinegar, salt, and ginger together and blend. Slowly whisk in blended oil and sesame oil until emulsified.

Boston Cream Pie

This is from David Leibovitz – it is perfect. You need time to make this as everything needs to chill between steps. I did it over 2 days. So worth all the work!

Custard filling

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, (split vertically) or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Sponge Cake

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c whole milk
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar

Chocolate glaze

  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 4 ozs bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For the custard filling

  • Add the milk to a medium saucepan and use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the half vanilla bean into the milk. Add the vanilla pod to the milk and warm over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt. Turn off heat.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth, then whisk in the flour. Gradually pour about 1 cup (250ml) of the warmed milk into the yolks while whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan. 
  • Turn the heat back on to medium-high heat and cook the custard, stirring the mixture with a whisk constantly (don’t vigorously whip it, which will make it harder to see what’s happening, and tire you out – just stir it) for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to the next-to-lowest temperature and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a whisk for 8 minutes. The mixture will continue to bubble gently as you cook it, but will not break due to the flour. Place a mesh strainer over a medium bowl and keep it nearby.
  • When the custard is thick, scrape the mixture into the strainer and press it through with a flexible spatula. Stir in the cold butter and vanilla extract (if using extract instead of the vanilla bean), until smooth. (Even if using vanilla bean, I often add around 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to round out the vanilla flavor, so you can use both bean and extract.) Butter a piece of parchment paper and place it butter-side-down on top of the cream. Chill thoroughly, for several hours or overnight. (The vanilla bean can be rinsed thoroughly and dried, and used for something else.)

For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC.) Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch (23cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. 
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and the butter until the butter is melted. Remove from heat, add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and set aside. Cover to keep warm.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or with a hand mixer, or by hand in a bowl with a whisk…and a lot of moxie) whip the eggs and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually dribble in the warm milk and butter until combined, then the flour mixture.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and give it a few stirs by hand with a flexible spatula to make sure everything is incorporated, then quickly divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops and bake until the top of the cakes are golden brown and the center springs back when you touch it and the cake feels done, about 20 to 22 minutes. Don’t overbake. Let the cakes cool completely. 

To finish the cake 

  • Run a knife around the cakes to remove them from the cake pans and peel off the parchment paper. Put one round of cake on a serving plate. Remove the custard filling from the refrigerator, which likely has stiffened up, so give it a few good stirs with a whisk or spatula to loosen it up and remove any lumps. Spread it over the top of the cake on the plate. Top with the second round of cake. Chill the two-layer cake while you prepare the glaze.
  • To make the glaze, gently warm the cream, corn syrup and chocolate is a small saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is thick yet spreadable. Pour it over the center of the cake and use a spatula or butter knife to coax it toward the edges, letting it drip down the side.
  • Refrigerate the cake until firm enough to slice, which will take at least 2-3 hours. If you try to slice it before the filling is well-chilled it’ll be messy to slice so patience pays off.

Oven Fried Chicken

  • 2 lbs chicken pieces
  • 3 c puffed rice, like
  • 2 Tbsp onion salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil spray
  • Combine all ingredients except chicken and oil in a food processor and pulse until well combined and rice puffs are finely ground.
  • Preheat oven to 400. Place a wire rack over a backing sheet and spray with olive oil.
  • Put rice puff mixture in a bag and place a chicken piece in and shake to coat, be sure to seal the bag. Repeat and lay on the wire rack with some room between pieces. Spray with a little olive oil.
  • Bake 35 – 45 min until crispy and juices run clear.
  • Serves 6 – 8.

Strawberry Spoon Cake

I doubled the fruit in this recipe and not mix the sugar with the berries as they were already sweet. This a super simple, tasty cake! This cake serves 8.

  • ½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing
  • 5 ounces/145 grams frozen and thawed or fresh, hulled strawberries (about 1 cup)
  • ⅔ cup/150 grams packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters whole milk, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch (square or round) baking dish with butter. Set aside.
  • Using your hands or the back of a fork, mash the berries to release all their juices, and stir in 1/3 cup of the brown sugar.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, milk and salt, then add the flour and baking powder and continue whisking just until the batter is smooth. Transfer the batter (it’s not much) to the greased baking dish, and spread evenly into corners.
  • Spoon the strawberries and all their juices over the top of the cake batter. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or just when a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes before spooning into bowls. Serve warm with ice cream.