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Dorm Room Chef: Microwave Chocolate Cake In One Minute
Aug 5th, 2014 by

Several months ago I created two weekly video series for the Boston Globe and Boston.com. Dorm Room Chef features Boston chefs preparing a dish that a college student could prepare in their dorm room. Drink of the Week features Boston bartenders creating a specialty cocktail on camera.

Periodically, I’ll be posting some of my favorite episodes of each series here on Rootsliving.

This dessert from B&G Oysters is one of my favorite recipes. I created it at home and served it with whipped cream. It’s fast, easy-to-make, and delicious, especially when the cake is served hot.

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Stuffed Zucchini Flowers The Way My Mother Made Them
Aug 1st, 2014 by

Drain on a paper towel after frying.

Drain on a paper towel after frying.

I hope you find the wait has been worth it. For several months I abandoned this column. But now I return with one of my favorite dishes: stuffed zucchini flowers.

My mother used to make these maybe once a year, or once every two years. They are a true delicacy. It requires that you get up early in the morning and pick the flowers from your zucchini plants while they’re open. If you don’t grow zucchini, you can usually find them at farmers markets. Avoid italian specialty shops as they’ll charge you a king’s ransom for them.

What you do is pick the flowers, early in the morning, and stuff them right away. If you have to wait to stuff them, place them face down between two paper towels. This will prevent the flowers from closing. Then follow these instructions:

Make a stuffing following the directions for my mother’s stuffed peppers, here.

Then, using a demitasse spoon carefully stuff each flower. Be very careful as the petals tear easily.

Dip the flowers in a beaten egg wash and then in bread crumbs.

Fry in a little olive oil until brown on both sides. Then let the oil drain off them on a paper towel.

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Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Rollups
Feb 2nd, 2014 by

Here a blueberry and mango combination was used.

Here a blueberry and mango combination was used.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and I’m making chili, chicken wings and pub kettle chips but to make myself feel better about those indulgences I searched online for something healthier.

You have to let the rollups sit in the freezer for 2 hours before you can eat them.

You have to let the rollups sit in the freezer for 2 hours before you can eat them.

I found this recipe for frozen fruit rollups: a perfect dish to make with kids. And lucky me I had kids on hand to help out as my great niece and two great nephews spent the night with us. With a little guidance, they were able to make their own rollups and had fun choosing which frozen fruit to use.

I bought bags of frozen blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and a bag that had a combination of bananas and strawberries. And I used vanilla-flavored greek yogurt.

Find more recipes in the Recipe index.

This one had strawberries and bananas.

This one had strawberries and bananas.

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French Onion Soup From A Master Chef
Jan 30th, 2014 by

In France they just call this onion soup.

In France they just call this onion soup.(Photo by Mark Micheli)

One of my favorite cookbooks is one I picked up in Paris more than 20 years ago. I got it in a small bookshop across from the Luxembourg Gardens: one of my favorite spots for coffee and a walk.

It’s written by French chef Paul Bocuse and it’s called “French Home Cooking.” It has the best French Onion Soup recipe: one that’s easy and pretty quick too.

Don’t worry about making your own beef stock just buy your favorite store brand. Although you don’t need individual soup crocks it’s fun to have them and you can probably pick up some cheap at a dollar store, the Christmas Tree Shop, Target, Sears or online at Amazon and eBay.

Stir the onions from time to time as they cook.

Stir the onions from time to time as they cook.

Ingredients:

  • Butter (2 ounces)
  • Onions (About two medium, peeled and sliced into circles)
  • Flour (About one ounce)
  • Beef Stock (or bouillon or even water. I’ve never used water but Mr. Bocuse says it works) (About 2 1/2 pints)
  • French Bread (Two slices per serving, toasted)
  • Gruyere Cheese (About 3 1/2 ounces grated)
  • Pepper (To taste)
  • Breadcrumbs (About an ounce)
  • Port (optional) (About 1/4 cup)

Preparation:

Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan.

Add onions, breaking them into rings. Cook until lightly brown or just starting to turn lightly brown.

Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan so the flour doesn’t stick.

When flour starts to turn brown add the beef stock and stir constantly. Cook over moderate heat for about 15 minutes. Stir in (optional) port about half-way through.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a soup tureen or in separate french onion soup crocks create two or three layers of the following: bread, cheese, pepper and sliver of butter.

Add soup.

Then top it off with breadcrumbs and more cheese.

Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese and breadcrumbs have browned.

Serve immediately.

Find more recipes in the Recipe index.

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Gourmet (Magazine) Guacamole
Jan 11th, 2014 by

This recipe from Gourmet Magazine is 24 years old. Where does the time go?

This recipe from Gourmet Magazine is 24 years old. Where does the time go? (Photo by Mark Micheli)

I got this recipe on Epicurious.com. It’s from the December 1990 issue of Gourmet Magazine. I didn’t follow it exactly because I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand.

Instead of using a jalapeno pepper, I added about 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. Instead of using lime juice, I used lemon juice. I also cut down on the amount of onion too (to about a 1/4 cup, chopped fine). And I didn’t have any coriander, fresh or dried, so I didn’t use anything. Oh hell, I better just rewrite the recipe here:

Ingredients:

  • Avocados, 2 ripe.
  • Onion, about 1/4 cup chopped fine or minced.
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Lemon juice, about 2 teaspoons or to taste
  • Ground Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Red Pepper Flakes, about 1/4 tsp.

Making the dish:

Halve and pit the avocados and scoop the flesh into a bowl.

Mash the avocados coarse with a fork and stir in the onion, the garlic paste, the lemon juice, the cumin, and the red pepper flakes.

The guacamole may be made 2 hours in advance, its surface covered with plastic wrap, and chilled.

Find more recipes in the Recipe index.

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A Christmas Eve Dinner Fit For A Pitstop By Santa Claus
Dec 23rd, 2013 by

Santa is coming. Time to light the stove.

Santa is coming. Time to light the stove.

The menu is set.

Santa Claus may travel around the world in one night but I like to travel more leisurely: eating and drinking and then recreating some of my favorite dishes. Here’s what we’re having tomorrow night, Christmas Eve. The dishes are ones I collected in my travels: from New England to France.

Something to Pick On:
Pub Kettle Chips, from Union Station Brewery, Portland, Rhode Island.

———————————————————–

First Course:
Shrimp Saute, from Joshua’s Restaurant, Wells, Maine.

————————————————————

Second Course:
Patata Ball in Tomato Sauce, from La Zucca Magica, Nice, France.

———————————————————–

Third Course:
Lasagna, from Figs Restaurant, Boston.

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