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Nov 23, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Just Five’

Just Five: Lemon and Arugula Pasta

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

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Recent emergency surgery put me on a bit of a forced vacation. The upsides of this unfortunate situation: catching up on two seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy,” quality time with the dog and my friends delivering my family a few meals. It’s not that my family is incompetent in the kitchen, but this is what people do when a friend is down and out. They drop by with a nice dinner.

I was the recipient of a delicious meal from Pastaria, some fresh bone broth, a smoked turkey and lentil stew I still think of fondly, and this simply amazing pasta dish. Apparently this is my friend’s go-to pasta dish, and it just became mine, too. So the next time you have a friend taken out of commission, bring a pot of water to boil and make this simple delicious meal.

Lemon and Arugula Pasta
3 to 4 servings

1 lb. spaghetti or other thin noodle
¼ cup minced shallot
3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups arugula
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste, divided
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

• Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water.
• Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium heat, saute shallots in the olive oil 3 to 4 minutes until soft.
• Place the shallots and arugula in a large shallow serving dish. Add the lemon zest and juice, ¼ cup cheese and the black pepper and toss to combine.
• Use tongs to transfer the pasta to the serving dish. Add the pasta water and toss well until the noodles are coated. Top with remaining ¼ cup cheese and serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

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Just Five: Pork Chop with Peppers Confit

Monday, April 10th, 2017

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Confit is a method of preservation that generally involves cooking food in fat low and slow for a long time. While you often hear of meat prepared confit (duck confit is a delicacy that comes from cooking duck legs in rendered duck fat), vegetables are confit-able. Cooking peppers in oil over low heat transforms their texture from a crisp juicy bite to smooth and almost creamy. Adding capers lends a briny, herbal bite, and sharp-sweet sherry vinegar-soaked golden raisins make this dish dance.

 
Pork Chop with Peppers Confit
Inspired by a Rozanne Gold recipe
2 servings

¼ cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
4 yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 8 slices each
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 thick-cut pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. capers

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the vinegar. Set aside.
• In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the pepper slices and and ¼ cup olive oil to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer 45 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally, but do not remove the lid.
• Generously season the pork chops with salt and pepper.
• Preheat a heavy, oven-safe skillet over high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sear the pork chops 4 minutes on each side.
• Place the skillet in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Place the chops on a serving plate and let rest.
• Remove the peppers from the oil and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the capers, raisins and vinegar and gently toss. Season to taste with salt, pepper and vinegar, then place the peppers confit atop the pork chops and serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

 

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• The Weekend Project: Confit

Just Five: Quick Coconut Brownies

Make This: Speedy Mac and Cheese

Just Five: Guinness Beer Bread

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

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Luck of the Irish indeed! Sauce Magazine tips the hat to all things beer this month, and March also celebrates all things Irish. This month rocks!

I wondered how to make a Just Five recipe with beer as one of key ingredients. After a little research on beer bread and soda bread, I threw both recipes together, picked out the parts I liked, and hoped for the blessing of St. Honoratus of Amiens (Google him).

A note on this recipe: If you do not sift the flour, you’ll have a dry biscuit, not bread. Sift, sift, sift! This simple quick bread has a crunchy crust from baking in butter and a lovely sweetness from the beer and brown sugar, proving once again that beer makes it better.

 
Guinness Beer Bread
6 servings

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
12 oz. Guinness or other dark beer
6 Tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Break up the packed brown sugar with a fork, then add it and the rosemary and stir well to combine the dry ingredients. Add the beer and mix until a sticky dough forms.
• Spread the dough evenly into a cast-iron skillet or greased 9-by-9-inch baking dish and pour the melted butter over the dough. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
• Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Bread will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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• The Weekend Project: Corned Beef and Cabbage

Extra Sauce: 6 green dishes (and 2 green drinks) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Just Five: Quick Coconut Brownies

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

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I recently ordered one of everything at my favorite bakery, and yet somehow, the beautiful brownie that I know was on my list did not make it into the bag. Yes, I had cupcakes and caramel cake and biscuits and scones and a cookie (I said one of everything – don’t judge), but since there was no decadent chocolate punch in the face, I did what anyone would do: I made brownies. And for fun-sies, I used coconut oil.

Usually I use coconut oil when making popcorn. It doesn’t impart a taste but rather an aroma of coconut, and I find it somehow tastes cleaner than vegetable oil. You can definitely taste the coconut in these brownies, though –imagine a Mounds truffle. Break the Just Five rules and gild the lily by adding vanilla extract or chopped almonds to the batter or topping with toasted coconut flakes or sea salt after baking.

 

Quick Coconut Brownies
1 8-by-8-inch pan

¾ cup solid coconut oil
½ cup (4 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
3 room-temperature eggs
¾ cup flour
1 tsp. kosher salt

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips, stirring gently, until the chocolate is completely melted.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk the melted chocolate mix and the brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs 1 at a time, then stir in the flour and salt until just combined.
• Pour the batter into an 8-by-8-inch glass dish and bake 25 minutes. Some oil will rise to the top of the brownies while baking, but it will absorb as they rest.
• Let rest at least 1 hour before cutting.

 

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

 

 

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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Just Five: Simplest Lamb Ragu

Friday, February 24th, 2017

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Winter Sunday morning. Slide feet into slippers. Put on coziest sweatshirt. Pour coffee. Sear lamb. Add sauce. Let simmer. Decide what to drink with dinner later. Serve next to a cozy fire.

 

Simplest Lamb Ragu
4 servings

1 lb. lamb stew meat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 chopped shallots
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 24-oz. jar marinara sauce
1 cup water, plus more as needed
½ cup ricotta*

• Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering
• Add the lamb and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and Italian seasoning and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
• Add the marinara sauce and water, cover and simmer on low heat 2 to 3 hours, adding more water if the ragu appears dry.
• Stir in the ricotta right before serving. Serve over cooked polenta, pasta or with rustic bread.

*Ricotta is salty; be judicious when salting the lamb.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

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Just Five: Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

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The few people I talked to about this recipe visibly recoiled. I get it: Tofu is not the most thrilling ingredient, especially when it comes to dessert. I was in this camp. Heck, I sewed and carried the flag for this camp. My favorite tofu preparation is when it’s taken a nice long oil bath and is covered in a delicious sauce. So I was surprised when I tasted this decadent, thick and creamy dessert. Silken tofu’s texture is a lot like custard: quite different from the firm and extra firm tofu I cook with.

High quality chocolate is key (remember, tofu is not known for its overwhelming flavor). Look for Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger or Valrhona, and do not overcook it. I added cinnamon for my fifth ingredient, but a little almond or orange extract would also be nice, or a touch of cayenne pepper along with the cinnamon could make this a great version of Mexican chocolate pot de creme.

 

Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Inspired by a recipe from Mark Bittman
6 to 8 servings

¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup water
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. high quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 lb. silken tofu
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar, water and salt to a boil over high heat until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
• Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, microwave another 30 seconds, stir again until melted.
• Combine the brown sugar syrup, melted chocolate, tofu, vanilla and cinnamon into a blender and mix on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides as needed, until completely smooth. Pour the pudding into 6 to 8 ramekins and chill 15 to 30 minutes until set. Serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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Just Five: Onion Jam

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Just Five: Onion Jam

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

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Onion jam: a phrase that will either horrify or intrigue you. When I brought a jar to a party recently, one woman wrinkled her nose and asked if I was joking, while the host (a true gourmand) merely raised an eyebrow and smiled. After the woman bid farewell, we agreed good riddance to that riffraff.

While this is a lovely accompaniment to a cheese tray, it shines brightest in a panini. This sweet jam with a hint of bitterness from coffee is quite magical when paired with gooey cheese. It would also be delicious served alongside pork tenderloin or roast chicken.

 

Onion Jam
2 cups

¼ cup olive oil
3 large white onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary*
1 cup sugar
¼ cup brewed coffee
½ cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and saute 10 to 15 minutes, until they soften and start to brown. Add the rosemary and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
• Sprinkle the sugar atop of the onion mixture, but do not stir. Let the sugar melt, 6 to 7 minutes.
• Stir in the coffee and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
• Remove and discard the rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool. The jam will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

*If you want to keep rosemary leaves out of your jam, wrap the sprig in kitchen twine to hold it together.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

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Just Five: Rubis Bulles Cocktail

Just Five: Broccoli Soup  

Just Five: Rubis Bulles Cocktail

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

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Champagne is probably my favorite cocktail ingredient. I love a French 75, Black Velvet or a Kir Royale. They make me feel like I’m in a pretty cocktail dress wearing ridiculous shoes and laughing at the most charming stories that my adorable friends are telling – even if I’m just binge-watching Chopped in my pajamas.

Combine Champagne with gin, vodka and Lillet, a French aperitif with strong citrus notes, and you have a bubbly take on a classic Vesper cocktail. I add blood orange juice to give the drink wonderful color. Hosting New Year’s Eve? You can easily batch this into a punch for the party.

 

Rubis Bulles Cocktail
2 servings

1 Tbsp. hot water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. blood orange juice
1 oz. Hendricks or Nolet’s gin
2 oz. Champagne
2 blood orange peels, for garnish

• In a small bowl, make a simple syrup by combining the hot water and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
• In large mixing glass, add 4 to 5 ice cubes, the Lillet, blood orange juice, gin and ½ ounce simple syrup. Strain into 2 Champagne flutes, top each with 1 ounce Champagne and garnish with a blood orange peel.

 

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• Recipe: Ice Mold
• Recipe: Vesper Martini

Just Five: Chicken with Porcini and Cherries

Friday, December 9th, 2016

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During a recent cleaning frenzy (there were mice – I don’t want to talk about it), I unearthed a jar of dried porcini mushrooms that got shoved to the back of my pantry. I also came across a jar of dried cherries during my epicurean archeological dig, and just like that, a recipe was born. Earthy porcini infuses the cooking liquid, and dried cherries add texture, as well as a sweet and tart bite. H/t mice.

 

Chicken and Porcini and Cherries
4 servings

2 cups chicken stock
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup dried cherries

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• In a medium sauce pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add the porcini mushrooms, cover and remove from heat.
• In a large oven-safe skillet, warm the oil over medium heat and saute the leeks 5 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, the place skin side-down in the skillet. Sear 3 minutes, then flip and sear another 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and mushrooms, then add the cherries and simmer 3 minutes.
• Place the skillet in the oven and cook 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve, spooning the pan sauce over the chicken.

 

 

Just Five: Broccoli Soup

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

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In my house, broccoli is king of the vegetables. We eat it steamed, roasted, stir-fried, raw or covered in cheese (duh). This simple broccoli soup includes tarragon, which created a house divided. Those 40 and older liked the slight hint of anise the scant amount of fresh tarragon added to the soup. However, the 20-and-younger contingent thought it might die from eating what it ascertained to be the equivalent of an entire bag of black licorice. The same group agreed that an alternate version, made with a couple fresh basil leaves in lieu of tarragon, was delicious. And still, the king remains on his throne.
Broccoli Soup
3 to 4 servings

1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup minced shallot
1 lb. (about 5 cups) chopped broccoli, stems and florets
3 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
¼ cup cream cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped tarragon or basil, plus more for garnish
¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

• In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cover, reducing the heat to medium-low. Simmer 15 minutes then remove from heat.
• Use an immersion blender or carefully pour the contents of the pot into a blender pitcher. Add the cream cheese, tarragon, salt and pepper and puree 30 seconds. Add more stock as needed to reach desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Serve garnished with fresh tarragon and crusty bread.

 

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Just Five: Roasted Broccoli
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• Just Five: Leeks Vinaigrette with Eggs
Just Five: Tender Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

 

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

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