1. with a splash of vodka for a hard lemonade
2. with a splash of sparkling water
3. with a sprig of mint or basil
4. with sparkling wine
5. with some berries
My mom is of Greek heritage. One of her many great pleasures in life includes being an active member in the local Greek church. The church has an annual outdoor summer festival, which recently got rained out on opening night. My mom missed the festival and another opportunity to enjoy some greek food because of torrential rain. So when mom came to visit this past weekend, I decided to make a greek style barbecue. The burgers were made of ground lamb mixed with feta, mint and a nice amount of lemon juice. My yogurt dressing was filled with fresh leafy herbs from the garden. The burgers were a big hit with mom and we had perfect weather too!
From by the bay wishing you some greek food memories!
Feta, Mint and Lamb Burger with Herb Yogurt Dressing
1 ¾ lb ground lamb
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 soft rolls, split and toasted
In a large bowl combine lamb, lemon juice, feta cheese, mint and salt and pepper. Make 4 patties. Brush the outside of the patties with olive oil on both sides. Preheat grill. Grill approximately 5 minutes on each side or until well done. Place burger on ciabiatta roll along with lettuce, roasted red onion and herb yogurt dressing.
Herb Yogurt Dressing
6 ounces greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoon fresh mint
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in a food processor, blend well. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
I was wandering through the Food Hall in Grand Central Terminal and happened upon these beautifully packaged and very addictive tasting peanuts! They are from ” The Redhead” Restaurant in Manhattan http://theredheadnyc.com/. They are without a doubt the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and then you add bacon and well this is one perfected recipe. Fortuantely, it seems as if the recipe was shared with Food and Wine and Meg Grace, who I think is a fantastic contributor. Now you can head to Murray’s Cheese Shop in Grand Central and buy these tasty little morsels or you can make them just as easily. I suggest using a great quality thick cut bacon – such as one using bershire pork and if your tastes lean to the spicy side like mine do, I increased the about of Old Bay Seasoning from 3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon. The menu at “The Redhead” reads ” because everything is better with bacon” and isn’t that so true!
Maple- Glazed Peanuts and Bacon
Recipe from “The Redhead” restaurant published in Food and Wine by Meg Grace
Makes about 4 cups
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 cups unsalted roasted peanuts ( 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
3 thick slices of bacon , 3 ounces ( note I use a little more)
1 tablespoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt such as Maldon Salt
Preheat oven to 325 degree F. In a medium skillet , cook the bacon over modrate heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Finely, chop the bacon into small pieces. In a medium bowl mix together the thyme, fine sea salt, Old Bay, cayenne and dry mustard. Add the peanuts, maple syrup and bacon and toss until the peanuts are evenly coated. Scrape the nuts onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring at least once, until the maple syrup has thickened. Remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Let peanuts cool completely, stirring frequently to break up any large clumps. Transfer the peanuts to a glass jar or a bowl and serve.
Peanuts will last 5 days when stored in an airtight container – but these are SO GOOD, it’s not likely to last!
Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
Maple, Toasted Coconut and Pecan Granola
3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup pepita (pumpkin) seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded or flaked coconut
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl, combine well. On a parchment lined sheet spread ingredients in 1 layer. Bake for 50 minutes until brown stirring every ten minutes until mixture is browned. Remove from oven and cool granola. Keep in airtight container. It should keep about one week.
Here’s a couple of ideas for using this granola:
1. For breakfast with some tangy greek yogurt and or fruit
2. Make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and replace the chips with granola
3. Make a fruit crisp and replace the quantities for oatmeal and nuts with granola
4. Add dried fruit and some raw almonds to make a trail mix
5. Add on top of hot oatmeal for a little needed crunch
Thoroughly butter the bottom and sides of a tube cake pan then coat the sides of the pan with flour, shaking out the excess or spray the sides of the pan with a baking spray.
It’s a perfect spring sunday morning by the bay and I’m planning on heading to the beach for the “Annual Car Show”, featuring a wide variety of vintage cars. The very thought of the show had me thinking of classics, so I decided on another classic for breakfast my buttermilk pancakes. Much like the enthusiasts who breath new life into these vintage cars, I decided to update my classic recipe with some new ingredients, like lemon juice and zest along with poppy seeds and the results were fantastic. Set the stage for enjoying your next weekend with these delicious pancakes!
From by the bay, wishing you great classic food memories!
Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Honey Butter
11/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
1 tablespoons lemon zest
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated keep egg white in separate bowl
In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds and mix. To this add lemon zest and sugar. To the dry ingredients add the wet ingredients the buttermilk, lemon juice and egg yolks and combine- do not over mix. Batter will be a little lumpy. Take the bowl with egg whites and use an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks. Fold egg whites with rubber spatula into the batter. Set aside for 20 minutes. Spray a griddle pan with cooking spray and heat. Spread 1/4 cup of batter for each cake, cook approximately two minutes on the first side, the pancake will just start to bubble slightly on the outer edges and flip and cook another minute. Place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven until all cakes are made and ready to serve. Serve with honey butter and maple syrup.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon honey
To butter add honey and combine well.
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70°.
2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough balls with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
4. Stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape, cover with toppings and bake on top of a very hot pizza stone or on a oiled baking sheet in a 500 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until dough is cripsy and golden brown.
Last month , I was headed into another early morning meeting at work. I had the good fortune to be meeting with someone who is very thoughtful. That morning , she welcomed me with a delightful treat, two delicious brazilian cheese puffs. This was my first time tasting this yummy, light and airy bread. They are crispy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside. When I arrived home by the bay that weekend, my sister Nancy welcomed me with the same little treat. Amazing to spend your whole life unaware of something so good and then you experience it twice in one week . I knew then, i needed to figure out to make these little breads myself. So this is the recipe and technique that worked best for me. It’s a hybrid of several recipes I tried. You can make these in a large size and serve for breakfast ( do adjust the baking time if you do that) or make them in a small bite size as an appetizer to serve along with your favorite wine or cocktail. These are pretty easy to make and definitely worth the time and effort.
From by the bay, wishing you cheesy food memories!
Brazilian Cheese Puffs