Last month, Ruth Reichl, food writer extraordinaire and the last editor-in-chief of the now shuttered Gourmet magazine, rounded up her 10 favorite recipes from her magazine years for Epicurious. It’s possible I’ve never clicked on a link faster. I adored the magazine; in my early years here, it really helped me crystalize a vision of what I love in cooking and do not. I cooked so many of the recipes — and yet, almost none of these. A raspberry crumble tart by Ruth Cousineau in August 2006 (just weeks before I launched SK) in particular jumped off the page. Reichl writes:
From the first moment I tasted this tart, I knew I’d be serving it again and again. I love the simplicity of the recipe, which allows the fruit to shine. I love the way it looks—a gorgeous burst of vibrant color peeking out of a shaggy top. And I really appreciate that you can use the most insipid supermarket raspberries (they emerge from the heat of the oven with a surprising intensity of flavor).
I had a house full of people this week and I pulled deep into my reserves of ‘what can I make in about 15 minutes ‘ recipes. There are blueberry scones that I can make in a snap, if I don’t get too distracted and forget to add the sugar. They’re versatile enough to be made with a gluten-free flour blend and if I set the timer and don’t ignore the timer, I can get them made, in and out of the oven in about 30 minutes. For baked goods that just about makes me a wizard.
There are my I Need A Cookie Right Now Cookies. A dough that whisks together to soft and glossy but bakes into soft and chewy. They’re covered in a cinnamon sugar that makes them little comfort bites for everyone. These snickerdudes also happen to be grain-free with very little refined sugar thanks to almond flour and maple syrup and come from one of my most used baking book, Sweet Laurel.
I don’t just love these cookie for the speed. They’re nutty and moist, sweet with maple syrup and really simply spiced.
I love that they’re just liiightly crisp around the edges and chewy soft on the inside. And unlike most butter dough cookie recipes, this dough doesn’t need to be refrigerated before its baked. It can go straight from batter to scoop to oven – and out come these soft little darlings.
Cookies on the quick and the wholesome ingredient make them basically health food, right?
I hope your week is chugging along. More from me to you soon!
This, my friends, is how you want to use that rhubarb you’ve been seeing at the market lately. It’s a syrup, sure, but I’d venture to guess it’s a syrup unlike any you’ve tasted. It has a lot going on, tartness from the rhubarb, tang from fresh lime juice, a backdrop of sweetness that’s anything but shy, and the wildcard finish – rosewater. The resulting syrup is strong, and lovely, and a kiss of it is just what a bowl of yogurt, or glass of soda water needs.
And it really couldn’t be simpler to make. Chop a few stalks of rhubarb, toss with sugar, then let it sit around until everything settles into a cold, sweet stew. Fire up your burner, and simmer until the rhubarb breaks down, then strain out the solids. You’re left with a vibrant rose-hued liquid. When you cook this down with a bit of fresh lime juice you end up with a fragrant, beautiful gem of a syrup. A finishing splash of rosewater is the final surprise – the je ne sais quoi factor.
As I mention up above, I use this syrup in simple spritzers, and as a way to add a bit of flair to plain yogurt. I imagine it would be amazing over cornmeal waffles or pancakes, or in place of a drizzle of honey over certain cheeses – good, soft goat cheese comes to mind. It’s just one of those simple, homemade things that is nice to have on hand. And come to think of it, it’d be a nice lip gloss flavor as well 😉
Let me know if you do something fun with this, or if you give it your own twist. xo -h
You all know by now how much I love a rustic, family-style dessert. And really, the list of desserts that fit the bill better than a simple fruit crumble is short. For those of you who’ve never attempted a crumble, it’s quite simple. Start with fresh seasonal fruit, top it with crumbled dough, and into the oven it goes. Before you know it, golden-topped dollops of baked goodness are crisping up in a shallow sea of bubbling fruit. In this version I combined rhubarb, strawberry, and a splash of port wine with a buttery black pepper, pine nut and oat crumble. Sounds a bit fancy, but really, it couldn’t be easier to make.
With this particular crumble, you can prep the ingredients up to ahead of time if you like. Combine the dry ingredients, cover, and set aside. Chop the fruit, cover, and refrigerate. The rest of it comes together in a flash whenever you’re ready to assemble the crumble and bake it off.
Enjoy the crumble, I know many of you are seeing rhubarb and strawberries in your markets. Looking forward to sharing some highlights (and photos) from my Portland trip when I get back and get unpacked. -h
When I originally came up with this ice cream, the year was 2009, which seems like a long, long time ago, in so many ways. Absinthe had been banned in France since 1914, blamed for a host of societal ills, even being accused of causing people to go crazy (which has since been debunked; most blame additives added to cheap absinthe, which caused brain damage), and the spirit was revived and legal again, nearly a hundred years later.
Distillers quickly hopped back on the absinthe bandwagon, the green anise-flavored drink revived everywhere, from Switzerland (where it was originally created), to France and California. People went a little crazy again, inventing everything from absinthe gummi bears to absinthe cake. Eventually some of the hoopla subsided as people realized – with its high-proof (many hover in the 60-75% range) – that absinthe was something best enjoyed in small doses. Or in my case, with chocolate.
Continue Reading Absinthe Ice Cream…