Monday, August 23, 2010

Strawberry Clafoutis “Clafoutis aux fraises”

 

Strawberry what?  Exactly.  That is the question I got when I made this.  This is my first Clafoutis and I had to look up the origin and definition of it.  So here is goes for you others that are new to Clafoutis as well.

Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.

A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits of the cherries. According to baking purists, the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. If the cherry pits are removed prior to baking, the clafoutis will be milder in flavor.

Even if the clafoutis is most classically made with cherries it will gladly open its arms to any other fruit, and in this case, strawberries.

I was looking for new strawberry desserts and came across this recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini. I have to say it was good and so easy to make. Not only that it is sugar free, so the sweetness is all from the strawberries! Try it out!

Strawberry Clafoutis

Serves 6

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole blanched almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
A pinch of salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp light rum
Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8-inch-square glass or ceramic baking dish with one tablespoon of the butter. Melt the remaining butter and set aside. Rinse the strawberries under cool water — do not soak or they will loose some of their flavor. Set aside.

In a food processor mix together the flour and almonds until finely ground. Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt, and mix again. Crack in the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Pour in the melted butter, milk and rum, and mix again until well blended. The mixture will be thin, like pancake batter.

Hull the strawberries, cut in halves or quarters depending on their size, and arrange in a single layer in the prepared dish.. Drizzle the batter over the strawberries, and put the dish in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, until puffy and set.

Transfer dish to a rack, and let cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, and serve. Clafoutis is traditionally served on its own, but if you like you can add a few fresh strawberries on the side, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a little whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wine Aerator Giveaway!

 

If you are a wine drinker and do not have one of these Vinturi Aerators then this giveaway is for you. Also if you remember this was part of my Mother’s Day Gift Ideas.

This wine aerator lets you enjoy your wine from the very first sip. Simply hold it over a glass and pour the wine through; the Vinturi draws in and mixes the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, allowing your wine to breathe instantly. This gives your wine a better bouquet, enhanced flavors and a smoother finish, and gives you all the taste without the wait.

I wanted to say thank you to all of you that keep coming back reading week after week!

To enter the giveaway you need to do 3 things:

1. Subscribe to Delishhh in an RSS feed or by Email!
2. Subscribe via
Twitter or become a fan of my Facebook page
3. Leave a comment here to let me know you did 1 & 2 as well as letting me know what you would like to see here during my next year of blogging. This will give me some great ideas.

The giveaway ends on Friday, 8/27 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Winner will be selected from Random.org.

Good luck and thank you so much for being here with me. I look forward to getting some new great ideas.

***** UPDATE ******

And the winner is. . . .

 

Comment #7 belongs to Juliana from Simple Recipes – CONGRATULATIONS!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spinach with Sesame Oil

Spinach, Spinach & Spinach – Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. The list just goes on, the question is what do you do with this green leafy thing?

Most people just eat it raw in their salad, or mix it with their salad, with walnuts, apples and blue cheese.  Others just put it into things like eggs scramble, lasagna, or quiche.  But what if you want to keep as much as possible from the nutrients and just keep spinach as a side dish, what do you do then?  I have a few things I do with the spinach, here is a simple spinach side, it takes only 5 minutes or less. But I am looking for other ideas.  What do you do with your spinach?

Spinach with Sesame Oil 

Ingredients
1 bunch of spinach
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
Sesame seeds
Salt
Pepper

Clean the spinach and wash it off. Put it all in a wok and then put all the other ingredients in there, pressed garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper.  Stir until it has gone down in size, about 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy as a side dish with meat or chicken.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Watermelon and Tomato Salad

I have been moving, traveling and enjoying the summer, and it has been hard to sit down and write, so I apologize about it, but i am ready to get back into it.  I hope that all of you are enjoying you summer.

During the summer, which is my favorite part of the year,  I am always looking to make some fun salads. Here is one of my favorites; it is refreshing, sweet and savory.    You can server this inside your watermelon half if you want to do something cool. If you want some protein in it you can even add some prosciutto or capicolla.

Read more…

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Wineries in Walla Walla, WA

Picture taken by Nancy Palmer

Walla Walla is in the southeastern region of Washington, approximately four hours by car from Seattle, Washington and thirteen miles from the Oregon border.  Walla Walla is famous for not only its sweet onions but in the past few years has become the “Sonoma of WA.”  This place has a little bit of everything, great places to stay, amazing restaurants and fabulous vineyards.  This piece on Walla Walla is in two parts, the first ones on vineyards and the second one will be all about place to go and eat.   

Most people go to Walla Walla for a long weekend, and if this is you here are my 10 vineyard recommendations to visit and do some wine tasting.   

First Group is by the Airport here are 3 vineyards that are fantastic and you can do in one day or grouping:   

Kvitners
Their 2009 Gung Fu Girl Riesling is my favorite and excellent price.  We always get a box just of this.   

Tasting Room Hours:
Thursday & Friday Noon-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-3pm   

K Vitners
820 Mill Creek Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 529-1398   

aMaurice Cellars
2008 Columbia Valley Viognier and 2006 “Tstutakawa’ Red Blend are both phenomenal wines that are a must try. This was one of our favorites on this list.   

Tasting Room Hours:
Saturdays 10:30 – 4:30
Or by appointment.   

àMaurice Cellars
178 Vineyard Lane
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 522-5444   

Revelry Vintners
By surprise this is a great little place and their Cabernet Sauvignon are fantastic. Also Seattle Magazine’s August issue ranks Revelry Vintners’ Merlot as one of the Top 10 Red wines in Washington   

Revelry Vintners
720 C St.
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 414-6440   

Then on your second day or grouping you can do the following wineries that are all located South of Walla Walla:   

Trust Cellars
One of my favorite places with a great owner.  2009 Riesling and 2008 Syrah and great buys. Usually open on the weekend but call to check just in case.   

Trust Cellars
1050 Merlot Drive
Walla Walla WA 99362
(509) 529-4511   

Tertulia Cellars
You can’t go wrong at this place, all their fines are very good and there is something here for everyone.   

Tasting Room Hours:
Thursday-Saturday 11-6, Sunday 11-5
(or by appointment)   

Tertulia Cellars
1564 Whiteley Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 525-5700   

Amavi Cellars
By surprise this place was amazing, a little tasting room on top of a hill with great views.  Their Cabernet Sauvignon is great and their late 2008 Late Harvest Semillon  was awesome.   

Amavi Cellars
635 North 13th Avenue
Walla Walla, WA 99362-1769
(509) 525-3541   

Petites Noirs – Chocolate Tasting
While you are going toward this area you can’t forget to do some chocolate tasting in between. This place is fabulous.  It is about an extra 10 minutes drive on Rt. 11 as you go toward or from this group of vineyards.  But it is worth the extra time.  This woman from NYC makes her own truffles and they are out of this world.   

Petites Noirs
622 South Main St
Milton Freewater, OR 97862   

Then on your last day you can do some tasting in Walla Walla downtown if you have time or if you are out and about:   

Seven Hills Winery
Established in 1988, Seven Hills Winery is one of Walla Walla Valley’s oldest and most respected wineries.   

Tasting Room Hours:
Thursday – Monday
10am until 5pm   

Seven Hills Winery
212 North 3rd Ave.
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 529-7198   

Forgeron Cellars
Forgeron is the French word for blacksmith as their winery/tasting room was the former site of a blacksmith shop.  Forgeron Cellars was founded in 2001 by a group of investors, mostly from the Walla Walla Valley, who have been involved in the wine industry since 1989.   

Tasting Room Hours:
Open Daily 11:00 to 4:00
Closed Major Holidays   

Forgeron Cellars
33 W Birch Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 522.9463   

Then if you have time for two more and want to head East these are great as well and you can hit these two on our way in or out of Walla Walla:   

Woodward Canyon
Located in a in a restored 1870’s farmhouse, nice place to visit.   

Tasting Hours:
Open daily from 10am – 5 pm.   

Woodward Canyon
11920 W. Highway 12
Lowden, WA 99360
(509) 525-4129   

Waterbrook Winery
Founded in 1984, it was the fourth established winery in Walla Walla and a great place to visit.   

Tasting Room:
Open 10 a.m.-6p.m. (Mon.-Thurs.), 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.) & 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. (Sun.)   

Waterbrook Winery
10518 W Highway 12
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 522-1263   

What are some of your recommendations?  Please share your favorites with the group.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Tamarind Tree Restaurant Review

Picture from Tamarind Tree Website

One of my favorite Asian restaurants in Seattle is the Tamarind Tree.  It is a Vietnamese restaurant located in the international district, tucked away in a little corner.  But it is definitely worth visiting if you haven’t been.  If you are going on the weekends, please do make a reservation there is usually at least a 30 minutes wait during that time at night.

At the Tamarind Tree you can sit in the main dinning room, and my preference is right next to the fire, or you can sit outside with the heat lights and waterfall.  Either way the place is always busy.

The menu is pretty daunting, it’s large and many things sound amazing.  But there are 4 key items I always order and would recommend.

Tofu rollsSalad roll with fresh herbs and fried tofu served with vegetarian soy sauce. Even if you do not like tofu you will like these rolls.  I always order these.

Hai Nam chicken rice pot. Rice cooked in chicken broth and fresh coconut juice topped with steamed chicken served with ginger fish sauce. This dish is very comforting.  Rice pot served with some great things in it so good. Perfect for a cold night. 

Chicken ginger vodka – Skinless chicken braised overnight in vodka infused ginger. Deliciously prepared chicken. 

Chili beef lemongrass
Beef slices stir fried with fresh lemongrass, freshly chopped chili peppers, white onion, and green onion. A spicy dish but filled with lots of amazing flavors. 

There are many other things on the menu that are good but these are my favorite.  Let me know what else you like to order here.

Tamarind Tree
1036 South Jackson Street, Suite A,
Seattle, WA 98104
206.860.1404

Read more…

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chicken Stock

This is my amazing chicken stock.  I am serious, it is the best.  My father actually taught me how to make this, and he is one of the reasons for my cooking.  I use this for all my soups as a basis.  The key ingredient to a good chicken stock and soup is parsnip.  If you have not used parsnip in your stock to date you are missing out.  Also another key is that you sauté your vegetables in olive oil first for a few minutes to get the vegetable flavors.  If you are adding your vegetables to boiling water your loose the taste of those vegetables in a stock.

When you make chicken stock use a whole chicken, it is a money saver.  You can remove the chicken breasts from the chicken, and save for another dinner, and then cut up the rest of the chicken and put it into the pot.  If you are new to cutting a whole chicken don’t worry you are just making chicken stock, it doesn’t matter how you cut it, so just go for it and practice. Also, from one whole chicken you get two chicken breasts for another dinner, chicken stock, and cooked chicken for a chicken salad.  That is much cheaper than buying all those pieces separate.

This chicken stock can be frozen or just saved in containers in the refrigerator.  Another great idea is to put chicken stock in your ice cub trays.  So if the recipe calls for a little chicken stock you can just take a few cubes from the ice cube tray and you don’t have to use a huge container.

Also using this recipe you can make an excellent soups and even my excellent chicken soup, that recipe is coming soon.

It is very easy and your will love it.

Chicken Stock

1 whole chicken
2 carrots
1 small celery root
2 stalks of celery
1 parsnip
2 yellow onions
1 whole garlic
1 tsp of paprika
7 whole allspice
7 whole black pepper
4 bay leaves
½ bottle of dry white wine
6 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt

– Cut all the vegetables into small cubes (carrots, celery root, celery, parsnip, and onions)
– Clean the garlic and smash each clove or you can chop it to your liking
– Pour some olive oil into your pot and let it warm a little.  Then put all your vegetables and garlic into the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes.
– Take the allspice and black pepper and crush in a mortar and pour into your pot
– Then take the rest of the spices (paprika, bay leave, and salt) and pour into the pot
– Sauté for about 5 more minutes
– Pour half a bottle of dry white wine into the pot
 – Let it cook for 5 minutes
– Pour in the water
– Bring it to boil and taste if you want more salt for flavor. I usually add some.
– Take your whole chicken and clean it as you wish.  I save the breasts for other dinners.  Take the insides (heart, liver etc.) and put into pot.  Cut the wings off and cut them into two pieces and put into the pot.  Cut the legs off and cut into two pieces and put into pot.  Then take the rest of the whole chicken body and put into the pot.  If you do not want to cut the chicken up and want to use the whole chicken for the soup you would cut the chicken in half and put both halves into the pot.  Let the chicken simmer for 45 minutes.
– After simmering for 45 minutes take the chicken out and let cool. You can make chicken salad out of this chicken.
– Take away any remaining chicken fat that has risen to the top of the soup.
– Using a potato masher, crush the vegetables.  Then using a colander drain the stock into another bowl and remove all the vegetables.  I usually through out these vegetables.
– You can freeze this and save the stock in containers, ice cube trays or make soup right away.
– Makes about 8 cups of stock.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pear Coffee Cake

A few years ago I came across the first food blog I started reading, Chocolate and Zucchini I have been reading it for many years, it was one of my first blog inspirations.  I have bought Clotilde’s cookbook and enjoyed many of her recipes. One of my favorites from Clotilde is Coffee Cake à l’Abricot.  This is as apricot coffee cake her mother baked for her during one of her visits.  But when I tried her recipe I tweaked it a little and used pears instead of apricots, and added cinnamon, also brown sugar and a few other changes.  It was so Delishhh that this has become our holiday or Christmas morning coffee cake tradition.  The key was that I doubled her recipe to make it more of a thicker coffee cake, the below recipe is doubled already. The bottom of the cake is dense and the top of the cake is deliciously moist, from the pear and the creamy topping. I am sure you can use any fruit you like but pear has been my favorite.

Enjoy!

Pear Coffee Cake

Ingredients

4 cups ripe pears, washed and quartered
2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
a dash of salt
1 tsp baking soda
20 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk
14 tbsp sugar
2 egg, lightly beaten

Topping

2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 egg

Finishing touch
confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 360°F and grease a 9” cake pan, preferably springform.
In a food processor, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and butter. Add in the sugar, and mix again. Add in the egg and milk, then mix again until just combined, avoid overmixing.

Pour the batter into the pan — it will be somewhat thick, so spread it around with a spatula if needed. Add the pears on top, arranging them in a pretty circular pattern.
In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, sugar and egg, beating them with a fork, and pour this mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
Put in the oven to bake for about 60 minutes, or until golden and the pers are tender. Leave it in the turned off oven for another ten to fifteen minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar just before serving, warm, at room temperature or cold. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What’s Cooking in your Kitchen – Brown Eyed Baker?

What’s Cooking in your Kitchen?” is a new series that I am integrating into my blog that will be a spotlight about other food bloggers and other food related interviews and highlights.            

   

 Today I will be going into the kitchen of Michelle from the Brown Eyed Baker. Michelle was a great sport of being my first in this series, so Thank You!  I discovered Michelle’s blog a few months back and got hooked right away.  Her blog is simple; the photography is amazing and the recipes are delicious. Not, only that,  Michelle has some amazing tutorials on her site that I go and visit and check out all the time, “How to make Homemade Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker“ and “How to Decorate Cookies with Royal Icing” are just a few of the items she has there.            

            

How long have you been cooking and who was the person who encouraged you to come into the kitchen and learn about food?  

I began baking when I was in high school, simple things like bar cookies and family recipes that I learned from my grandma. I grew up watching my grandma bake and cook each and every week. Everything from homemade gnocchi to pizzelles and biscotti.   

Why did you decide to start a food blog? And why do you love it?             

I originally began a food blog for two primary reasons. The first is that I really enjoyed being in the kitchen and wanted to document the recipes that I tried, and also use it as a way to challenge myself to try new and advanced recipes. The second reason was that I have always loved writing and I thought that a blog would be a great creative outlet for me.             

You have many tutorials in your food blog how did you learn yourself? From cake decorations to photography?             

As far as cake decorating goes, I took three series of Wilton cake decorating courses from Michael’s. Everything else I have learned on my own through reading, watching some food shows, and trial and error.             

Do you have a signature dish? What is it and how did you come up with it? Link?             

There are three things I make that are certified favorites with my family and friends            

Picture from the Brown Eyed Baker

  Dark Chocolate Chip Scones             

Picture from the Brown Eyed Baker

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies            

Picture from the Brown Eyed Baker

 Cinnamon Raisin Bagels      

 What eatables do you have in your backyard?             

This summer I am growing a few herbs in pots on the deck – I have rosemary, thyme and basil going right now.         

 Picture from barefootcontessa.com  

If you could sit down and have a dinner with a celebrity chef, who would it be, why and where would you take them to eat?             

I would love to sit down and have dinner with Ina Garten. She appears to be so warm and inviting and her cooking and entertaining style is what I aspire mine to be – simple yet classic. I’d love to eat at her home in the Hamptons – in the garden, if I get a choice!            

What makes you drool when it comes to food?             

Anything rich and decadent. Think flourless chocolate cakes, cheesecakes and the like.            

            

What are three things people don’t know about you?             

#1 – I am a huge sports fan. Hockey is my first love, followed closely by football, but I’ll watch just about any!  #2 – I love playing video games.  #3 I adore snow. The blizzard of 2010 was awesome in my book!      

 

Picture from Amazon.com 

What is the one cookbook you can’t live without.             

Baking Illustrated by America’s Test Kitchen. Not only are there tons of fabulous recipes, but it’s full of baking tips and how-to photos.            

 

Picture from Vikingrange.com 

 

 

This is your dream kitchen – send us your picture if you don’t have one name 5 things that are must in your dream kitchen.            

#1. Viking range with 6 burners, built in grill and griddle. #2. Double wall ovens. #3 Built-in shelves for my cookbook collection. #4 Large island perfect for cookie decorating, homemade pasta, and other kitchen projects! #5 Undermount sink.        

 

Picture from microplan.com

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?    

Does my Kitchen Aid mixer count as a gadget? If not, I would probably choose my Microplane citrus zester!     

    

Pictures from  Flickr rfdphoto stream            

Describe your death menu. (Last meal before you die).   

Bacon cheeseburger on a toasted/buttered bun with seasoned French fries and a slice of cheesecake for dessert.            

I wanted to thank Michelle for letting me in her kitchen! Thank you!        

Friday, July 16, 2010

Croutons

How many of you go out and buy croutons and pay $3-$4 for a package that lasts two salads?  If you said yes then I have a money saver for you.  I never go and buy my croutons but make them myself and it is so easy.  I usually put my bread in the refrigerator and save it there before I make my croutons.  I never go out and buy bread for croutons but save old end pieces from breads for a few weeks and after I have about 6 cups of bread I make it into croutons and store them in plastic containers in my pantry. You can even put them in a mixer to make your own bread crumbs if you like.

You can make your croutons any flavor you want, you can add garlic salt, paprika, Italian seasoning, dried parsley or any other spice. Much easier than you think.

Croutons

Preheat oven to 400F

I make this recipe when I have about 6 cups of bread that I have cut into 1 inch cubes. If you have less or more just use more or less of the spices.

Put all the bread in a bowl.
Add about ½ cup of olive oil
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic or Garlic Salt
2 tsp Italian Seasoning or any seasoning that you like

Mix it all together and taste for flavor.

Then put it on your cookies sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.  After 10 minutes mix the croutons around so they get evenly brown.

Enjoy the croutons on your salad, in your soup, or even as a snack!

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