Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Unrecipe of the Week: Asparagus Frites

May 9, 2016

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With spring comes showers, flowers and of course, asparagus. We usually roast ours, often with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. This unrecipe takes our asparagus game up a notch, by coating it with a blend of breadcrumbs and parmesan and baking it until it is crispy and crunchy. The best news is that because they are baked and not fried, they still maintain their healthy status!

oven fried asparagus

Asparagus Frites:

Wash the asparagus and trim off the tough ends of the stalk.

Cover a baking pan with parchment, and spray or brush it with olive oil.

Prepare 3 dishes for breading: 1 with flour, 1 with an egg whisked with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and another with breadcrumbs ( you can use regular, whole wheat or panko, a Japanese bread crumb, or a mixture of both) blended with an equal amount of grated parmesan cheese, and a little salt and black pepper to taste.

Roll each asparagus spear first in the flour, then the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumb / parmesan mixture. Place the breaded asparagus on the prepared pan and spray with olive oil.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, turning after 8-10 minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven when they are golden brown and cripsy. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste, and enjoy!

For a more decadent experience, dip them in lemony hollandaise sauce!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Rolling Cookie Dough

December 16, 2014

We’ve been making a lot of cookies lately. { Insert shameless plug for indigo jones eats here.} Most recipes call for refrigerating the dough before rolling it, which allows the gluten to relax, therefore reducing shrinkage and making for a flakier outcome. With a super sticky dough like gingerbread, chilling makes it just firm enough to be handle. It also makes most doughs really hard to roll out.

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I have wasted lots of time letting the dough chill, only to have to let it sit to soften it enough to roll out.
While I was testing recipes for graham crackers to use to make my s’mores, I came across one that called for rolling the dough between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper, and then chilling it. While that recipe did not make the final cut, it did change my life. Since then, I have been rolling all of my cookie doughs this way, laying them on a baking sheet, and popping them into the refrigerator. The results have been spectacular.

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When you’re ready to roll, just peel off the top sheet, cut the dough into the desired shapes, lift it off of the bottom sheet with a spatula and viola;  perfect cookies!
For my hand shaped shortbread spoons, I have been chilling them after they are formed, and before they are baked with great success.

This has been a holiday cookie season public service announcement. You can thank us later.

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Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats for handmade foods

Thanksgiving Game Plan

November 14, 2013

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you are hosting dinner, it’s time to get cooking; in a figurative sense. Unless you prepare a massive feast for a crowd on a regular basis, planning ahead is everything.

Here are a few of our favorite tips to ensure a successful meal:

Nail down the guest list:

Our Thanksgiving guest list ebbs and flows each year, with regulars often asking to bring friends at the last minute.  While there is always room for one more, a few more, or a few less can wreck havoc. Try to get a head count so you can plan more efficiently.

Order the turkey:

If you have ever had a fresh, free range or organic turkey, vs. a frozen conventional turkey, you will know this step is critical. I order mine from Dipaola Turkeys at the Union Square Greenmarket, and you really can taste the difference.

Create a menu:

With the wide variety of traditional dishes served for Thanksgiving, a plan is necessary. Everyone seems to have a favorite side dish that they look forward to, and with all of the food issues floating around, it is important to serve items that fit into your guests’ dietary restrictions. Check to see if you have any vegetarians, vegans or gluten free diners. You can work around those issues in some dishes to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable meal. Copy your recipes, and place them in a folder so that they are all in one place when you need them. 

Make shopping lists:

The grocery stores get crazy the day before Thanksgiving. Other than the impeding nervous breakdown one might experience when food shopping the evening before the holiday, the most popular items are often sold out. You can’t make pumpkin pie without pumpkin, or cranberry sauce without cranberries. Dividing the list into non- perishables, which can be purchased far in advance, semi-perishables, which can be purchased a few days in advance, last minute items, and specialty store items, will allow you to be a stealth shopper, with a minimum amount of stress. 

Have a game plan:

Take that menu you just created, and figure out the best way to execute it. Several dishes can be made the day before and finished off right before dinner, and others can be prepped to minimize the muss and fuss. Cleaning and chopping vegetables, and making piecrusts are good items to get out of the way in advance.

Setting the table:

If you have room, go ahead and set the table the day before and cover it with a sheet.At the very least, inventory dishes, tableware, linens and serving pieces a week in advance. Polish the silver, wipe the dishes, iron the linens and make sure you have everything you need. When you discover you don’t have a serving piece, or a place setting on Thanksgiving Day, there is little to nothing you can do about it.

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Taking the time to plan ahead will be one of the many things to be thankful for, come Thanksgiving Day.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Measuring Dry Ingredients

July 30, 2013

Here at Indigo Jones, we are big on the “unrecipe.” When cooking, we like to be flexible and use instinct to get the right amount of flavor to suit our palate. Baking is another story. Being casual with measurements can prove catastrophic.

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When measuring dry ingredients, such as flour for baking, it is important to be consistent, to get consistent results.

We like to use the fluff, stuff and level method:
Fluff up the flour, scoop it into a measuring cup, and level it off with a knife. It’s easy, and effective.

Other ingredients, such as brown sugar need to be packed firmly into the cup when measuring, to ensure the correct amount.

Using these techniques will help ensure perfect baked goods every time!

photo: Glasshouse Images 

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Unrecipe of the Week: Hurricane Sandy Edition

November 5, 2012

This post was written last Monday, just as we were about to lose power. Here it is; better late than never!

Con Ed called to say that they might shut off our power pre-emptively. Around here, no power = no water.  Of course I panicked. Of course I cooked.

The last of the roasted pumpkin was quickly kneaded into a rustic looking pumpkin gnocchi.

Vegetables were washed and the house got “quickie” cleaned to ensure that we didn’t need to live in squalor during the storm.

Dishes washed, wine consumed and kitchen cleaned.  Sandy is coming and we are ready!

Roasted Pumpkin Gnocchi

 

Mix together roasted pumpkin puree or a can of pumpkin puree, a little pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper and flour. You will probably need between 2 ½ and 3 ½ cups of flour, depending on how much pumpkin puree you have.

Mix it together, adding a little flour at a time as you go until it forms a ball. You will be a sticky mess. Go with it!

Knead the dough on a floured countertop until it is not too sticky to work with.

Divide it into small sections (6 to 8) and roll them until each is about 1” thick. Cut the rolls into 1” chunks, roll them lightly in flour and place them on a cookie sheet until ready to cook. If you do this in advance, refrigerate them.

To cook, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface. This should only take a few minutes.

Serve with melted garlic butter, parsley or sage, a grind of fresh pepper, and shaved Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

How to Separate an Egg

August 28, 2012

Separating eggs is a messy, but necessary task. Many recipes call for just the yolks, or just the whites.  Some use both, but they are required to be added separately.

If even a little speck of yolk gets mixed into the whites, they won’t whisk up properly, resulting in flat soufflés and baked goods.

Traditionally, the egg is separated by cracking it open, and passing the raw egg back and forth between the shells, until the white slips out, and then putting the yolk into a different bowl.

For those who don’t mind getting their hands a dirty, the egg can be poured into your palm and the white will drip out from between your fingers into the bowl, leaving you holding the yolk.

Always use a perfectly clean, dry bowl for the egg whites, and make sure your hands are also clean, and oil free. Egg whites are fussy, and they won’t cooperate if they come into contact with other substances. Conversely, a little of the whites will not effect the reaction of the yolks when cooking. It’s best to use a small bowl for separating the egg whites, and then transfer them one by one to a larger bowl once they are separated cleanly. That way, if there is any contamination, you will only waste 1 egg, not the whole batch.

Just when you think there are no new techniques to handle this common kitchen task, something truly innovative comes along.

Today, I came across a YouTube video, of a very unique way to separate eggs.
The egg was cracked carefully into a bowl, so that yolk remained intact. An empty plastic water bottle was placed gently on top of the yolk, and when it was squeezed, the yolk was vacuumed up into the bottle, unbroken.  Truly amazing!

It just goes to show you, there are lots of ways to separate an egg!

Happy Baking!

photo: Glasshouse Images 

Unrecipe of the Week: Easter-over

April 8, 2012

Today we are celebrating “Easter-over”, a non-denominational hybrid of Passover and Easter. The beginning of the meal features classic matzoh ball soup, leading up to a salad of mache and figs, herb roasted leg of lamb, roasted new potatoes and vegetables, and ending with an array of Passover desserts.

This year, in addition to the sponge cake, made from my grandmother’s recipe and cooled upside down on a glass bottle, there are homemade coconut macaroons with a tiny chocolate center, and chocolate matzo brittle.

Matzo brittle is a fairly recent concoction, and not the type of thing I would normally make. I balk at things that start with processed ingredients, and with no disrespect to our state’s acting first lady, the idea of “Semi-Homemade” is unappealing. Yet, something made me want to try this one, and I am glad I did!
It is easy, yet a little messy, and absolutely addictive, regardless of what your heritage might be!

Matzo Brittle

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cover 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil, including the edges.( you will thank me for this later) and then lay a piece of parchment paper on each pan.

Lay out sheets of plain matzo, using broken pieces to fill any gaps.

In a heavy sauce pan, melt 2 sticks of butter, and 1 cup of brown sugar, stirring until melted together. Allow the mixture to bubble up for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove it from the pan and pour it over the matzo, covering each piece evenly.

Put the pans in the oven, and bake for about 15 minutes. The mixture will bubble up.

Remove the pans from the oven, and sprinkle each one with a bag of chocolate chips. Pop back in the oven for about 5 minutes, and then use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the matzo.

Allow to cool, and then break into pieces.

Try not to taste it, or there won’t be any left for the guests.

To all of our readers around the world,Happy Easter-over! May you enjoy a wonderful celebration of the Spring season surrounded by friends and loved ones.

Enjoy!

Sites We Love

July 18, 2011

We just stumbled upon this, and we are already obsessed!

A new internet start up features hand picked recipe ideas based on your favorite ingredients, what’s in the fridge, or what you are craving. Gojee, the brainchild of entreprenuer Mike Lavelle, creates personalized menus and shopping lists from the scores of recipes supplied by their contributors. Gorgeous photos provide inspiration and hunger! Check out the site and enjoy!

photo:GOJEE

Unrecipe Of The Week

July 22, 2009

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With summer finally here, I have been obsessed with tomatoes. The markets are filled with a vast selection of rich ripe tomatoes, from the traditional beefsteak and plum varieties, to the more unique heirloom tomatoes that grow in beautiful colors of red, yellow, green, orange and purple. Try this simple “unrecipe” for a great salad, or as a topping for fish, chicken or pasta.

Select a variety of tomatoes, and cut them into chunks.

Drizzle with olive oil and a little lemon juice.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Sprinkle with fresh basil cut in thin strips.

Enjoy!

photo: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Assignment


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