Everyday Dorie: Tomato and Peach Panzanella

September 13, 2019 at 10:58 am | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, salads, savory things, veggies | 3 Comments
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tomato and peach panzanella

The days are getting shorter and cooler, but it’s still peak tomato season. This Tomato and Peach Panzanella is the perfect way to keep summer around just a wee bit longer. Use whatever bread you want, use peaches or other stone fruit or even melon, choose your favorite herb, make it as salty or as acidic as you like…it’s a use-what-you-like and taste-as-you-go type of thing.

There is a bit of oven time involved with this salad because you need to make croutons. But chunky homemade croutons are so worth it for any salad, and here they’ll soak up all the beautiful juice from the tomatoes and peaches without decomposing into mush. I used what I guess I’d call “French bread” rolls from the restaurant where I work. We always have a bag of day old rolls left over from the previous night’s dinner service and no one minds if I take a few home. I make croutons with them on the regular, in fact. At the greenmarket, I always get a mix of tomatoes– a variety of sizes, from medium to tiny, and all the colors I can find. I like nectarines more than I do peaches, but the peaches have been exceptional this year, I must say, and I used them here.

This was delicious, and I liked the sweetness from the peaches. I had a big batch of croutons, so I made it a couple of times. A little feta was a good add the second time around. I didn’t have any salad left over either time, but I have in the past made too much panzanella…I’ve found that next-day panzanella, when the croutons are a bit too soggy and the tomatoes have spent the night in the fridge, makes fabulous gazpacho whizzed up in the blender. Pro-tip for ya.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Fall-Market Galette

September 10, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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fall-market galette

I do normally try to make a couple of fruit pies every summer, but this year I just didn’t. Ah well…some of the best fruits for baking are found here in September anyway, so I think this Fall-Market Galette makes up for my earlier laziness. Dorie calls this a “purple galette” as it’s filled with all the beautiful purple tinged fruits of fall– plums, grapes and figs. I went to my neighborhood’s Saturday greenmarket for my fruit and found the plums and grapes but I’ve never seen figs there. I swapped them out for blackberries and a (non-purple, I know) peach. I used the walnuts as well.

I love the ease of a galette and I don’t mind one bit when the juice from my mountain of fruit runs in rivulets along the pleats. This was delicious with vanilla ice cream.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Sweet or Savory Cream Cheese-Honey Nut Wafers

September 3, 2019 at 8:07 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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sweet or savory cream cheese-honey nut wafers
Sweet or Savory Cream Cheese-Honey Nut Wafers are little rounds of flaky, puffy cream cheese pastry topped with either jam or blue cheese, depending on what you’re after, and a walnut and honey mix to cap it all off. I like a cookie that gives me options, even if I predictably go the sweet route. Hahaha. Here I topped my crust rounds with a spoonful of white fig jam (that I bought in the goofy treats aisle of Marshalls, FYI). I thought that these were like tiny pies in cookie form until I read Diane’s post saying they were open-faced rugelach, and that is 100% spot-on!

I made half a recipe of both the dough and the honey nut topping. I haven’t baked off all of my cookies yet, but I can tell I’m going to have topping left over. I probably could have gotten away with just a third of that for my half batch of dough. It won’t go to waste though– I’ll do a couple of baked peaches or plums and sprinkle it over top for an easy dessert. Dorie says these are best the day the are baked, but NYC saw a couple of nice (not humid) days over LDW, and they seemed just fine to me the following day, too. I do still have half of my dough rounds in the freezer to bake for later, so I may try the savory version or switch up the jam on those.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Cat’s Tongues

August 27, 2019 at 9:06 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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cat's tongues

Cat’s Tongues, or langues de chat, are a French classic. Thin, crispy, buttery yummies– I don’t think I’ve made them since I was in cooking school. Luckily, they aren’t hard to mix up and pipe out, and the oven more or less takes care of the shape. These baked up perfectly…nice elongated ovals, pale in the middle with a ring of crispy brown around the edges. I did actually pipe them out a little too big. They could have been a bit daintier in size and I would have gotten a few more out of the batch. The ones that came out the smallest, I paired up and sandwiched together with some ganache, as per Dorie’s excellent suggestion to “Milano” them. I’ll leave the larger ones as singles, spread their undersides with tempered chocolate tomorrow at work and give them to the guys at the gym in the afternoon. A plan for everything. Hahaha.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Vanilla Polka Dots

August 20, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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vanilla polka dots

Aren’t these Vanilla Polka Dots so cute? Can you even tell they are cute on this ugly tray? Actually this is my very favorite sheet tray; I do not mean to talk badly about it and think it is beautiful in its own way.

Back to the cookies…these are made from Dorie’s Do-Almost-Anything Vanilla Cookie Dough. We’ve done a couple of things with it before, but this is the first time we’ve used it for scooped cookies rather than rolled ones. I added a little extra vanilla (in the form of paste) to my dough. The cookie scoops are rolled in a good amount of Swedish pearl sugar before baking. Swedish pearl sugar can be hard to find. I bought a box at IKEA several years ago and thankfully it doesn’t go bad. Hahaha. The sugar polka dots give a sweet crunchy coating to the cookies, but their insides stay soft. I shared these with the dudes at the gym, and we all liked them.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Tiramisu Tart

August 13, 2019 at 8:19 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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tiramisu tart

I do love a good tiramisu, so there was no doubt I would be game for a Tiramisu Tart. This has all the required elements of a classic tiramisu– a layer of ladyfingers soaked in strong coffee and plenty of delicious mascarpone cream– housed in a sweet pastry shell.

I decided to scale the recipe back and make a few small tartlets instead of a large tart. There are only two of us here, and even though I think regular tiramisu gets better and better as it sits, I was a little worried that I’d have a soggy crust long before we could finish up a full-size tart. I put a thin layer of melted dark chocolate on the bottom of each shell for some extra insurance that they’d stay crisp for a couple of days. Also for some extra chocolate…who am I kidding?!? I bought a domestic mascarpone instead of my favorite Italian one, which I have to walk to another neighborhood to find, and it was a little loose when I mixed the filling up. I was glad that I chose to make tartlets, as the individual shells kept the soft filling contained and I didn’t have do deal with messy slices. At work I have access to lots of different kinds of cake scraps, one of them being housemade ladyfinger cake. I absconded the other day with a little scrap packet to put to use here and saved myself a bit of work.

I’d be equally happy with a “regular” tiramisu, but the tart shell is a fun twist. It does give a nice crispy element, it’s really pretty and I did love it. A pick-me-up that you can actually pick up…I mean, what’s not to love?

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Fresh-Off-The Cob Corn Chowder

August 9, 2019 at 7:16 am | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, savory things, soups, veggies | 13 Comments
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fresh-off-the-cob corn chowder

We’re a soup lovin’ crowd here at Cook the Book Fridays. This is the third one we’ve made, and we’ve barely cracked the book open. August might not be my idea of hot soup weather, but corn has just come into season here in New York. There are mountains of beautiful ears at the Greenmarket, so I’m happy to oblige our liquid dinner cravings with this Fresh-Off-The-Cob Corn Chowder.  Along with potatoes, fresh sweet corn forms the base of this chowder, which also has sautéed aromatics like onion, garlic, celery and fennel stalks. Dorie says the fennel is optional, but I really think it adds a wonderful flavor here (and is a good way to use a stalk of two after you’ve done something else with the main bulb). About half of the veggies are cooked and pureed with the soup stock to make a creamy base that, thanks to the starchy corn and potatoes, contains no dairy, and the other half is sautéed and added at the end for fresh texture. I did not use the bacon in the recipe, as I forgot to get it at the store, but I had some smoked turkey breast to give it a similar flavor (I would have used turkey bacon anyway).

One of the best parts about making a soup like this is getting to garnish it. I always enjoy planning out the finishing touches. Here I went with the extra sautéed corn and veggie bits, cubed potatoes, pulled smoked turkey, a little sour cream, some fennel fronds and a dustings of fennel pollen and black pepper. The soup is excellent, and I really enjoyed my leftovers the next day heated up just a bit warmer than room temperature.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Melody Cookies

August 6, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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melody cookies

Does anyone remember Nabisco Melody Cookies? They’re crispy, thin, sugarcoated cocoa wafer cookies that the company stopped making 40-some years ago. I don’t remember them, but I hear the ’70s are back and I’m down with a bit of retro baking to see what I missed. This is the kind of cookie I like a lot…I made a third of the recipe and I thought about sharing them with my buddies at the gym, but then I decided I didn’t really make that many and wanted to save them for my morning coffees during the week. Next time, I’ll make more and share the melody love. The cookies are made from an easy roll-out dough that seemed to hold shape nicely. I sprinkled them with a hefty amount of turbinado to give them some ’70s glam sparkle.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Mascarpone Mousse

July 23, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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mascarpone mousse

Mascarpone Mousse sounds like it would be rich, but it is surprisingly light and airy. It’s a nice chilled, no-bake dessert for the oppressively hot summer days we’ve been having. I think it would go well with just about any summer fruit, too…here I topped it with some of the Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters I made for our last posting.

To make the mousse, mascarpone and honey-sweetened cream are mixed together. Then a simple meringue is folded through the mix to give it its delicate texture. There is a little gelatin as well to help it set up. That’s not my favorite ingredient, but I did use it here. The recipe says it makes four servings, but I got six that I thought were quite reasonably sized.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll.

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Fudgy Mocha Bars

July 16, 2019 at 11:51 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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fudgy mocha bars

Chocolate, coffee and walnuts…these Fudgy Mocha Bars have all three in each bite, so it was pretty much guaranteed I’d like them. They also have the crackly crust and gooey insides that any good brownie should. Perfect with ice cream or an extra shot coffee, these little pick-me-ups were a hit with everyone who tried them.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us anytime!

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