Friday, March 29, 2013

Cabbage Soup Extraordinaire

I made this soup on a freezing day. The pancetta enriched the soup so much and made the soup into a hearty meal. You can make the soup vegetarian by omitting the pancetta and use vegetable broth instead.

1 Tbs. Olive oil
1/2 cup diced pancetta or bacon
1 Red onion 1/4 inch dice
6 cloves of garlic minced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 large jalapeño, pepper seeds removed and diced small
1 granny smith apple chopped
1/2 Head Red Cabbage, chopped
6 cups of chicken broth.
Sour cream- optional

In a dutch oven sauté the pancetta with the olive oil until the fat is renderred.

Add the onion, garlic, thyme, apple and jalapeño to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook 5 minutes on medium low heat until the onion is softened but without caramelization.

Add the red Cabbage and cook until wilted about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and simmer for 45 minutes on low heat until the cabbage is tender and the flavors have developed.

Serve with sour cream if desired.
Serves 4

Recipe, writing and photos by Karen Pickus 2013
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cherry Galette

I love sour cherries. They are in season in June. They are not readily available year round but there are some delicious varieties that come in a jar from Europe.

I use these when I make a cherry tart or galette in other months and they work quite well.

First I make a buttery crust and top it with this delicious filling I concocted.
Here goes.

For the crust

2 stick of cold, unsalted butter (8 oz.) cut into 1/2 " pieces
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. of salt
10 oz. all purpose flour

6-8  Tbs. ice water

In a food processor combine the butter, the sugar, salt and flour. Pulse until it is a coarse crumb. Add the ice water and pulse 5-6 times until the water is somewhat incorporated. Place on a lightly floured surface and with the palm of your hand, push and grab the dough, 6-8 times to form a mass.
Form the dough into a rectangle and make 1-3- fold ( fold one long end of the rectangle toward 2/3 in with 1/3 of the dough remaining and fold that third on top).
Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the filling

1 -14 oz jar sour cherries
1 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar
4Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. cinnamon


Meanwhile make the filling. Strain the sour cherries and reserve the liquid in a 2 quart pot. In a separate small bowl combine the cornstarch with 1/3 cup of the cherry liquid, with a wire whisk until the starch is smooth.
Add this to the liquid in the pot.
Grind the vanilla bean with 2 Tbs. of the sugar in a coffee grinder. ( I dedicate 1 clean coffee grinder for this purpose). If you don't have one, chop the vanilla bean very fine. Add  all of the sugar and the ground vanilla to the cherry juice in the pot.  Bring the liquid to a boil, add the spices and stir with a wire whisk. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and boiling to cook out the starch. Add the cherries and remove from the heat. Let the filling cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll dough into a 14" round and place a sheet of parchment paper on the back of an 11x 18" baking sheet.
 Place the dough on top of the parchment. Spread the filling evenly in the middle of the dough (about a 10 " circle of filling).

Fold the dough evely around the filling, leaving some filling showing in the middle.

 Brush the dough with some water and sprinkle the dough with 2 Tbs. granulated sugar.

Place the gallette into the preheated oven and bake until the dough is golden on top and peek at the bottom carefully with a metal spatula to make sure it is nicely golden on  the bottom also, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Let the gallette cool completely and serve with or without whipped cream.

Recipe, writing, photos by Karen Pickus 2013
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Roasted spiced nuts

These nuts are a terrific nibble with drinks. I also love these as an accompaniment with some composed salads. Either way they are a taste treat!

Here is my recipe

4 cups walnut or pecan halves
1 egg white

4 tsps. light brown sugar
2 tsps. smoked paprika
2 tsps. cumin
2 tsps. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the egg white with the nuts by tossing the egg white onto the nuts until thoroughly combined with your hands.
Combine the spices together in a small bowl and then toss with your hands until the nuts are coated evenly with the spices.
Place on a sheet pan and roast for 6-8 minutes. Toss the nuts with a metal spatula. Continue roasting until the nuts are golden brown for a total of 12-15 minutes.
The nuts will crisp up as they cool.

Recipe , photos and writing by Karen Pickus 2013
Courtesy Karen Pickus, 2013

Finished Slaw

Finished Slaw
Ready to eat!