Cooking

Valentine's Day Recipes

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
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Heat things up this Valentine’s Day with these decadent chocolate recipes from America’s Test Kitchen:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Chewies
Chocolate-Raspberry Torte

Join Chris Kimball and the test cooks on America’s Test Kitchen as they solve everyday cooking problems and bring you useful equipment reviews, trusted taste tests, and foolproof recipes. 

Taste of WGBH: 100 Years of Holiday Food and Drink

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
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Free-Form Apple-Pear-Cranberry Tart

By Amy Traverso   |   Tuesday, October 18, 2011
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Apple Pear Cranberry Tart (Squire Fox)

I love the rustic look of this tart filled with sliced apples, pears, and cranberries. Rather than baking it in a pie plate, you simply roll out the crust into a circle, fill it with fruit, and fold the sides up around the filling. It's sweet and tangy, doesn't require any fussiness on your part, and makes an impressive Thanksgiving centerpiece.

It's best served with vanilla ice cream.

Apple Notes: Consult the Cheat Sheet on page 30 for a list of firm-tart apple varieties. Any will work very well here.

Equipment: Parchment paper; large rimmed baking sheet

Makes: 8 medium servings, 6 large servings 

Active time: 45 minutes  

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time

Ingredients
For the crust
1¼ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick; 113 g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling
2 medium (or 1½ large) firm-tart apples (about 12 ounces total; see Apple Notes)
1 large ripe pear, such as d'Anjou or Bartlett
½ cup (103 g) plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
? teaspoon ground cloves
? cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 large egg, beaten well

Directions
1. First, make the crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar until well combined. Sprinkle the butter cubes on top and use your fingers to work them in (you want to rub your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do). Stop when the mixture looks like cornmeal with some pea-sized bits of butter remaining (try to work quickly so the butter doesn't melt). Sprinkle the egg yolk–water mixture on top and stir with a fork until the dough begins to come together. If needed, add one more tablespoon water. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three times. Gather into a ball, then press into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF and set a rack to the second-from-the bottom position.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into ¼-inch-thick wedges. Peel and cut the pear into ½-inch-thick slices. Gently toss together in a bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, orange zest, and cloves; set aside.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle about 16 inches wide and ? inch thick.

The circle doesn't have to be perfect — this is a rustic dessert — but try to get it as round as possible, even if that means cutting a little dough off one side to add to the other. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Arrange half the apple and pear slices over the dough, leaving a 2½-inch border all around. Sprinkle half the cranberries over the apples. Sprinkle half the sugar-cornstarch mixture over the fruit, then repeat with the fruit and then the sugar mixture. Fold the sides of the dough up and over the edge of the filling, allowing the dough to drape over itself at each fold. Brush the dough with the beaten egg, and sprinkle all with one teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 10 minutes; lower the temperature to 375ºF, and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes more. Let cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.

Dutch Baby
Quick Bread-and-Butter Apple Pickles
Main Greater Boston story


Reprinted from The Apple Lover's Cookbook by Amy Traverso
Copyright © 2011 by Amy Traverso
Photograph © 2011 by Squire Fox
With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

How To BBQ, Four-Seasons Style

By Toni Waterman   |   Friday, August 5, 2011
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Aug. 8, 2011



BOSTON — It’s not often you get the chance to share the kitchen with a five-star chef, but once a month, Four Seasons Executive Chef Brooke Vosika opens his doors and recipe book to the public with a cooking class.

“Tonight we’ve got a BBQ class. It’s probably one of our most popular classes,” said Vosika. “We’re going to touch on gas barbeque verses charcoal barbeque, we’re going to touch on the different varieties of barbeque, whether it be a southern style, it can also be a Kansas City style, Texas style, North Carolina style.”

For $150, these eight students get a personal lesson on the art of barbequing. It's a lesson student Sarah Donovan said can’t come soon enough.

“I just got married and someone gave me a grill and it’s sitting on the deck. I haven’t even taken the tarp off,” Donovan said as she put on her apron. “So I’m here to learn how to grill.”

The classes are held in the middle of the Four Seasons Aujourd’hui kitchen. Everyone quickly finds their place around a square table, butcher blocks in front them and a glass of wine in hand.

First up, a lesson on Vosika’s self-described “volcano” sauce. For the past two weeks, Vosika has kept the chilies buried under mounds of salt. He says the salt draws the moisture out of the chilies while at the same time adding some saltiness to them.

“The process then is to wash off as much of the salt as possible, pick the stems off and then we’re going to blend it,” Vosika explained.

Everyone pitches in, in between sips of wine, pinching stems before the chilies are blended with vinegar and water.

Next up, the main course is the ever-daunting ribs. The first thing Vosika shows are baby-back ribs.

“The difference between the baby-back and the regular ribs is that it’s a smaller animal they come from,” he says. “And also they’ve been trimmed down so it’s the center of the rib. You’re not leaving that fat portion on the bottom.”

Vosika boils his ribs for 40 minutes before throwing them on the grill, giving him just enough time to get his Kansas-City-style barbeque sauce together. He starts by chopping some garlic.

Ketchup is the next one and that’s our base,” he says while pouring it all into a mixing bowl. “Adding our vinegar, chili powder, paprika, olive oil which is important for coating and of course, our volcano sauce,” Voskia says, laughing.

Now it's time to hit the grill. Vosika says this is the point when people make their biggest mistake, using either too much heat or too little heat.

“There’s a fine line between burning something and char-grilling it, really making something so charred that that flavor takes over everything,” Vosika said.

Student Ernie Jones says he's definitely made that mistake. “Not paying attention to the grill when I was doing a low, slow cook and it just got way past the point of when it was done,” Johnson said.

After dousing the ribs with sauce, Vosika grabs them with tongs, demonstrating perfect technique.

“So I’m going to take this side, the side that we’ve done that has the BBQ sauce on it. We’ll lay that right on top. While that’s there, we’ll take some more barbeque sauce.”

After a few minutes sizzling on the grill, it’s time for the best part of the class. Chef stands at the table, doling out the goods: Baby back ribs-regular ribs, wings, homemade potato chips and good conversation.

At the end of the night, students say they’re taking home a lot more than just leftovers. “It was really easy to see how to make different things and with recipes I will actually be able to follow,” says Kara Silvia.

“I loved it,” adds her sister, Kristina. “It was so good, but we’re so full at this point,” she adds, laughing.

Full with a meal that’s finger lickin’ good.

Buttermilk and Banana Pancakes By Annie Copps

Thursday, May 26, 2011
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banana pancakes

I confess, I am not a morning person, but making pancakes is worth getting up for. My nephew James and I have also discovered that these will taste much better if you have not showered and are still in your pajamas—really. This is a pretty standard pancake recipe. In the summer I make these with blueberries and peaches.

Yield: 2 dozen pancakes

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus a pinch baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 quart buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 bananas, sliced into about 20 rounds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup warm maple syrup

Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in buttermilk and butter. Whisk in the dry mix-just until incorporated—do not overmix. Let rest 5 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick saute or griddle pan to medium (about 350 degrees). Melt enough butter to spread a thin even film over the surface of the pan. Ladle about ¼ cup of batter per pancake into the pan and let it spread into a round. Let the pancake cook about 30 seconds.

Place 4 or 5 pieces of sliced banana onto the pancake and let cook until bubbles break the surface. Gently flip and cook about 1 minute (or until golden brown) on the other side. Serve with warm maple syrup.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)
___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Anadama Bread By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
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anadama breadThis is definitely a New England recipe. Anadama bread is one of the most popular breads here, and for good reason—it's absolutely delicious. Try smearing a mixture of butter and local honey on it and, you'll be hooked. This is my friend and mentor chef Jasper White's recipe, Jasper uses a bit more corn meal and less molasses than most recipes, so it serves dual roles as a breakfast bread or alongside hearty chowders.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cups (approx.) warm water (105-115 degrees), divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for work surface
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Vegetable oil or butter
1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water (egg wash)

Directions
In a medium-size bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer with hook attachment), combine yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water; mix well. Add melted butter, molasses, salt, flour, and cornmeal. Slowly add up to 1 cup more warm water; mix to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more water if necessary. Knead by machine about 10 minutes, or by hand about 15 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Oil (or butter) a large bowl lightly. Shape dough into a ball and place in the bowl; turn it once so it's lightly greased all over. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Let dough rise until volume doubles, about 1 hour.

Grease two 9-1/2x5-inch loaf pans. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place each loaf in a pan, return to a warm spot, and let rise until volume doubles, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops of the loaves with egg wash and bake 1 hour, or until deep golden brown. To test for doneness, remove one hot loaf from its pan and tap the bottom of the bread; you'll hear a hollow sound if it's done. If it's not done, return it to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. When loaves are done, turn them out of their pans and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.

(Adapted from 50 Chowders: One-Pot Meals—Clam, Corn & Beyond by Jasper White)

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