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Category ... Recipes

Hong Kong Sponge Cake--an Amazing Technique

Mar 18, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Having fallen in love with Linh Trang's Milk Bread and her beautifully crafted video, I decided to explore some of her other videos and was intrigued by her unique method of making sponge cake without a tube pan. Normally a cake of this type will dip in the center without a center tube to support it. Linh Trang explained how she created this cake to prevent dipping:

In Vietnam, people think that is a terrible failure. So a large part of my time in the kitchen was used to find out how to have a soft, cottony sponge cake that has a dome in the end :-) A very helpful tip that I learnt recently is to drop the mold onto the counter from a level of about 7 inches) like what I did in this chiffon video, at 5.33). I am not sure 100% but I guess the shocks help to ventilate and release the steam better, and this trick works like magic to me. After dropping the mold 3 - 4 times, we can unmold the cake (if it's not baked in a tube pan) and let it cool on a rack.

The resulting sponge cake is extraordinarily tender, moist, and velvety and not at all overly sweet. I brought half the cake to my dentist, Dr. Kellen Mori, and learned coincidentally that her 6 year old daughter Olivia had just expressed a yearning for strawberry shortcake for breakfast. All that was needed was some lightly sweetened whipped cream and strawberries and apparently it was a great success! Olivia even made a video expressing what she thought a "famous baker" should be. Essentially she said that one should not be concerned about fame or money but rather about having fun, and feeding and making people happy. She certainly made me happy!

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Linh Trang's video demonstrates exactly how to make this cake and she has given me permission to offer the recipe to you.

Here is the recipe:

One 8 x 2-1/2 to 3 inch pan, bottom lined with parchment (do not grease the sides) (Note the baked cake was 2 inches at the sides and 2-1/4 inches domed so a 2 inch pan might work)

4 to 5 egg yolks: 76 grams
superfine sugar: 20 grams
milk: 40 ml (3 Tablespoons) fine to use orange juice or lemon juice instead
oil: 30 ml (2 Tablespoons)
vanilla: 1/2 teaspoon
all-purpose flour: 50 grams (I used bleached but she thinks her flour was unbleached)
cornstarch: 50 grams (for the best texture I recommend organic such as Rumford)
4 egg whites: 120 grams
cream of tartar: 1/4 teaspoon (I used 1/2 t but Linh Trang said it is not good quality in
Vietnam so more will be too tangy)
superfine sugar, sifted: 70 grams

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, milk, oil, and vanilla until very smooth. Add the flour/cornstarch through a strainer and whisk until evenly incorporated.

Beat meringue on low speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue on high speed until soft peaks. Then lower speed to medium for about 2 minutes until stiff peaks to give it more stability.

Whisk 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. Then use a spatula to fold in the meringue, adding it in two parts. Smooth the surface.

Tap the pan 3 times on the counter to release any large air bubbles.

Bake toward lower rack so not too close to top heat at 300°F 40 to 50 minutes (slow rise=less likelihood of falling) until it springs back.

Drop the pan 3 times to release steam and unmold right away. Remove parchment and cool top-side-up on a raised rack.

Where the Microwave Shines

Mar 04, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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I have a long history with microwave cooking. In the 1970's, when I was a student at NYU, one of my assignments was to develop recipes for their one microwave oven which dated back to World War II.

A few years later, Elizabeth Alston, who was the food editor of Redbook Magazine asked me if I would like to do a freelance story on microwave cooking. I declined, saying it doesn't do everything well to which she said: Good! Then do only what it does do well! (I have admired her ever since and had a great time working on the recipes with a nutritionist, Gail Becker, who did the nutritional analysis. The upshot was that we were so taken with microwave cooking, we decided to start a cooking school specializing in it.

I put in a call to Mimi Sheraton, who at the time was writing about cooking schools for the New York Times. She asked me when the school was starting and my response was: "When will you be writing about it." She informed me that the New York Times would never stand behind microwave ovens as they were dangerous and, as the wife of a radiologist, how could I consider such a thing. (This was before Barbara Kafka had her weekly microwave column for the New York Times--lesson: never say never.)

I explained to Mimi that because my husband was a radiologist I knew that there are two different types of rays, and the one that is used in microwaves is on the same wave length as that of radios. I'm not sure if she was convinced, but somehow the microwave school never happened.

A short time later, NYU lost their microwave teacher who told me that she was tired of academia and was going into industry. They begged me to teach the class and I agreed as long as I didn't have to grade exams. It turned out to be a great opportunity to explore recipes conducive to microwave cooking, and I even took the class on a field trip to the Sharp corporation in NJ to try out their microwave/convection oven.

Out of all the recipes that were created in that class, there is one that stands above the rest as the most enlightening, so I'm going to share it with you here and I hope you will be inspired to try it. I wish I had the name of the student who created it as she did a splendid job adapting the recipe and writing it up as is presented in her words here. It is for a classic french dessert, Poires Belle Helène and perfect for this time of year when pears are at their finest.

Continue reading "Where the Microwave Shines" »

The Zen of Japanese Cottony Milk Bread Final Frontier

Feb 19, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

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Fellow blogger Hsiaohui posted that he makes this bread with a special Japanese flour called Casarine. He wrote that in Asia it also was called the " tearful flours" as anyone who eats the bread made with this flour would be tearful for tasting such delicious bread. It has a 11.7% protein (Note from Rose: which is 0.3% lower than my combination of bread flour and cake flour) and is made by extracting the very heart of a wheat. I lost no time in ordering it from bakingwarehouse in Hong Kong and it arrived two weeks later.

The very next day I whipped up (or should I say kneaded up) a batch of dough, shaping it into a single loaf because we have been so enjoying it for ham sandwiches and as toast rather than buns.

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The resulting bread was a more beautiful white color than the combination of bread and cake flour. The loaf was the exact same height and shape and the crumb equally soft and chewy. And the flavor was not noticeably different enough to justify shipping flour across the Pacific and the US. But if I were living in Hong Kong this is the flour I would use for this bread.

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Babka Rescue!

Feb 14, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Have you ever heard me say YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS?! Well I do say this often to Woody as it seems to happen on a regular basis. Even when we've perfected a recipe, there is often a surprise thought or occurrence that turns out to be a silver lining of improvement. But this is the first time I've said this on a posting. Here's what happened to prompt it and here's a case for weighing ingredients:

I was distracted because I was making two recipes at the same time, each using different amounts of lightly beaten egg. When adding the egg to the babka dough, by mistake I added 25 grams instead of 75 grams. After the dough was kneaded for 7 minutes it just about cleaned the sides of the bowl instead of what I had written which was that it wouldn't and that it would be very sticky.

I said to Woody that I would have to make the change on the recipe and he responded with: "Maybe you mis-measured something." Since I always weigh the finished dough there was the answer: 50 grams short. How to add that egg into an already smoothly developed dough?

First I tried continuing with the dough hook and the dough just sloshed around with the egg as if to say you are not welcome in here. I tried squishing it in with my fingers to no avail. So in an act of determined desperation, I dumped it all into a food processor and processed it for about 15 seconds, after which the egg had integrated perfectly into the dough and was even easier than usual to scrape into the rising container.

The finished babka was perfect. We joked about how this could become a new technique. But the thinking behind the desperate act was that many bread doughs mix very well in a food processor, however, I've never had to try adding egg after the dough was already developed. I wanted to share this with all of you should this ever happen!

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A New York Squabble

Feb 04, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special for the LA Times Syndicate


first published February 1995, for the Los Angeles Times SyndicateHeadShot.jpg

I was reminded of this story when driving on route 80 last week and held up for about 40 minutes due to construction. It was so great to be able to text my friend whom I was meeting to tell him we would be late. There was a time I dreamed of such a possibility but it was long before cell phones.

I am including at the very end, my letter to the editor responding to his queries.


Wen I was growing up in New York City, a cab ride was considered an indulgence and a luxury reserved for special occasions. Since those early years, my attitude has shifted gradually from awe to concern as to whether a taxi would be available when I need it and ultimately to concern as to whether I would survive the ride. Although I feel I've come close to collision on numerous occasions, it's actually happened only once. Of course the driver immediately assured me that it was the other cabby's fault for stopping short and of course, though I am well-acquainted with the rules of the road which unequivocally state that the driver whose car hits the other is at fault, I murmured something sympathetic and wisely said nothing.

When I'm at the wheel of our car and get anywhere near a cab, I am tensed to expect any variety of erratic moves. But what happened a few weeks ago on a cab ride to the Port Authority Bus Terminal was beyond my wildest expectations. When I described it to my brother Michael (who escaped to California over 20 years ago) expecting concern and sympathy, he laughed instead and said "that is so New York!" I hadn't even thought to look at it that way.

I had been on my way to catch a bus to New Jersey where my parents were waiting at the bus stop in the town, to pick me up and drive 20 minutes to our house where I was planning to prepare a sumptuous dinner of boned, stuffed squab. I was traveling light. The three squab were tucked into my portable freezer bag and the only other things being transported were my purse and the manuscript of my current cookbook. I had been planning to walk to the Port Authority but was running a little late so decided to grab a cab. From the very moment I closed the door and the driver lurched into gear I sensed trouble. The driver had an "attitude." His anger, aggression and desire to engage in conflict was palpable, both from his driving, the set of his head and even his sporadic breathing. Only a few blocks later he proceeded to cut off another cabby who seized the bait by cutting us off at the very next opportunity. One block later my cabby stopped at a light, pulling up too close for comfort to the other cab. My eyes opened wide with astonishment as he opened the right window, leaned over, shook the bottle of soda he had been drinking, removed his large thumb from the opening and pointing it like a weapon at the other cabby's open window, sprayed him in the face. The light turned green, and now the other cabby made his move. He took some hard object, crashed it against our rear view mirror, breaking it to smithereens and then, taking advantage of the momentary shock of my cabby, accelerated rapidly, cutting in front of us and making a left turn into a side street. Without hesitation, my cabby followed him. "Let me out!" I pleaded desperately. "I'm going to miss my bus." "No!" he said in a reasonable but firm voice, "I have to get him, he broke my mirror." He was deaf to any further pleas as we grew further from the bus terminal I imagined myself missing the bus and my poor parents having no idea what to do.

At the next light he left the cab, ran to the driver's window of the other cab, punched the driver in the face and raced back to our cab. The other driver left his cab and came up to us. He was very handsome and he smiled at me utterly without hostility before smashing in the back window. My driver got out again to pursue the other one and, my adrenaline racing, I grabbed my purse, manuscript and squabs and took off like a shot, in silent gratitude for my stretch jeans and Reeboks. A drunk standing by observing the whole scene cheered me on with "baby, I don't blame you." I opened my mouth to thank him for the moral support and then decided to reserve all my energy for the flight. I never looked back but I'm sure my cabby wasn't interested in pursuing the fare. He was more involved in revenge.

I was glad that neither of the cabbies had a gun. I was glad that I didn't worry my parents by missing the bus. And I was glad that I had something deliciously comforting and life affirming to cook for dinner.

Continue reading "A New York Squabble" »

Revisited Neoclassic Buttercream with Whole Eggs

Jan 28, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes


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Neoclassic Buttercream was my solution to making the classic egg yolk buttercream virtually foolproof. Instead of the need for a candy or instant-read thermometer to show when the sugar syrup had reached the correct temperature, replacing all of the water and a portion of the sugar with corn syrup (or golden syrup) eliminated the need for a thermometer. You now just needed to heat the corn syrup and sugar mixture until the top surface is covered with large bubbles to indicate that it is at the correct temperature to add to the beaten egg yolks.

BLOGGER REQUEST Joan 1/15/17

I have a question, but first a compliment I totally love your neoclassic buttercream. I made a three-tier wedding cake using it and it was fabulous.
The question is how to adapt this to whole eggs instead of yolks. I have a recipe from my Hungarian mother-in-law that produces (if you're lucky) a chocolate buttercream that my husband loves. It involves beating whole eggs with sugar and cocoa powder over boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Her test of doneness is that it gives a thread between your thumb and first finger. Then you cool and beat in butter. This is tiring and not dependable. I think there should be a way to adapt your neoclassic corn syrup method. Do you have any ideas of how to adjust the proportions?

ROSE & WOODY REPLY

We ran two tests to verify that indeed whole eggs can be substituted for egg yolks for this buttercream. Whole eggs can replace the egg yolks in a ratio of 1 whole egg (50 grams): 2 egg yolks (37 grams). All the other ingredients were the same amounts, and the technique for making the buttercream is the same.

The whole eggs Neoclassic yielded a slightly fluffier and lighter in color buttercream, with a slightly higher volume.

It is fine to add chocolate or other flavorings as per the same formulas as stated in The Cake Bible.

The Zen of Japanese Cottony Milk Bread Revisited

Jan 25, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Here are the results of my final experiment using an expandable pan so that it would be 6-1/2 cups (between the standard 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch and the 9 x 5 inch pans).

First, in response to a question about the pan, the one I purchased in London is the eifa brand. the instructions are in Italian, German, French, and English so I don't know which country it comes from but it also says a product of MEWA. Maybe eifa refers to its ability to extend length-wise.

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It seemed to be just the right size as there was room between each dough log to expand a little sideways to keep the center logs from pressing up against the two end logs, which makes them narrower.

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Since I was experimenting, I made one log a little larger so it rose more.

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When I am testing recipes I always try to think about what I might not have thought of and here it is: The problem with the expandable pan, is that when unmolding, although the paper clamps kept it from expanding lengthwise, they didn't keep it from collapsing so it squished in the hot squishy bread (see the lower right side of the baked bread). Woody offered to make a series of holes that we could bolt in place but I declined.

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I'm going back to my non-stick USA 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch 6 cup pan.

For the Love of Eiswein--A Christmas Story

Dec 24, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special for the LA Times Syndicate

first published December 1997, for the Los Angeles Times SyndicateHeadShot.jpg

There are those who truly believe in the cliche that love is blind and indeed they are often right. Life isn't perfect, so we tend to fill in the gaps with our creative imagination, and a certain degree of purposeful lack of vision can go far in keeping things going. But given those rare times when one is hit with the real thing that never disappoints, is lasting, in fact mellows and improves with age, and for which one can actually remove the rose colored glasses so often necessary for enchantment, only a fool would fail to treasure such beneficence. There were few such fools Christmas Eve 1996 when the Gods bestowed the gift of the most perfect conditions to date for making Eiswein to many vineyards throughout the wine growing regions of Germany.

Grapes, other than dessert wine grapes, are normally harvested in October. The advantage of allowing grapes to sit longer on the vine is that more flavor and sweetness can develop. The risk, however, is that they usually start to deteriorate before the temperature drops in mid January. The longer the wait, the higher the risk that it will all be for naught and the entire crop wasted.

When grapes freeze, the watery part freezes solid but the sugary juices containing flavors remain liquid. The grapes must be pressed before thawing so that only the naturally concentrated juices are released and the watery part stays frozen and left behind.
Because it is impossible to predict just how long the temperature will cooperate, it is advisable to pick the grapes immediately. When vintners emerged from mid-night mass on Christmas Eve, to discover that an unprecedented early drop in temperature had frozen the perfectly ripened grapes, they felt as if they had been given a Christmas present. It was the same heart-warming story in many vineyards throughout Germany: Fellow parishioners volunteered to go immediately to the vineyards to help pick the precious harvest before the grapes could defrost and spoil.

Eiswein, was invented in 1965 in Germany, the world's Northern-most wine growing region. It is usually made with either the Riesling, or Scheurebe grape (a cross between Riesling and Muller-Thurgau). It's intensity is at least equal to that of the renowned trockenbeerenauslese, fondly referred to as tba. Eiswein, however, has more purity of flavor because the freezing process does not impart any additional flavors.

The concentration of grapes for tba is caused by botrytis (aka noble rot). Botrytis, which is a fungus, breaks down the skin of the grape, causing the water to evaporate and the grape to shrivel. The botrytis also adds a distinctive burnt sugar-like tartness which masks some of the grape's flavor. The most conscientious growers remove any botrytis affected grapes before making the Eiswein.

The 1996 Eiswein harvest had the advantage not only of an early freeze but also of exceptionally clean botrytis free conditions and, of course, this is reflected in the extraordinary quality of the wine.

We all know that too much sweetness can quickly become cloying, but the beauty of a great German Eiswein is that the natural high acidity of the grape lends a provocative stinging poignancy, much desired balance between sweetness and fruit, and aging potential of as long as 100 years. Though often easy to drink even when very young, it isn't until about 10 years that the sweetness and acidity come into full married balance, with layers of unfolding flavors. It only takes a little glass of this liquid joy to go a long way and once experienced, it is impossible to forget.

Eiswein, retailing from $65 to $150 for 350 ml., is relatively inexpensive if you consider that for every glass you are drinking the equivalent of ten glasses that would have been produced from the same grapes had they not undergone the concentration. Besides, Christmas comes but once a year and Eiswein more seldom still. And once opened, the wine will keep refrigerated to be savored repeatedly over several weeks.

People are always asking what to eat with a wine that fills the mouth with such honeyed ambrosial nectar, it's like eating a glorious liquid dessert. My choice would be the simplest and finest cookie I know: the almond crescent. Crisp, buttery, impossibly fragile, with the faintest whisper of cinnamon, they will prove the point that one perfect thing deserves another. And, this recipe takes very little time to make in a food processor.

1996 Eisweins that I have enjoyed in the various wine regions of Germany which are exported to U.S.A. include: Selbach-Oster (Mosel), Hermann Donnhoff (Nahe), Gunderloch (Rheinhessen), Heyl zu Hernsheim (Rheinhessen), Josef Biffar (Pfalz), Fuhrmann-Eymael (Pfalz), Muller-Catoir (Pfalz),Von Buhl (Pfalz), Dr. Heger (Baden), Salwey (Baden).

Continue reading "For the Love of Eiswein--A Christmas Story" »

Gramercy Tavern's Buttermilk Coconut Pie Recipe

Dec 20, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Maya Ferrante, winner of the 2016 Gramercy Tavern In-House Pie Contest, generously sent us her recipe which will be featured on the menu: This is just in time for you to make for the holidays!

Pecan Cookie Crust

Ladyfinger Cookies: 100 grams/3.5 ounces
Granulated Sugar: 25 grams/2 Tablespoons
Kosher Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
Pecans Halves: 125 grams/1-1/4 cups
Unsalted Butter, melted: 57 grams/4 Tablespoons

1. Grind ladyfingers, granulated sugar and kosher salt in food processor until ladyfingers are fine crumbs.
2. Add pecan pieces and pulse until mixture is homogenous. 3. Add melted butter and pulse until incorporated evenly. 4. Pour mixture into 9.5-inch pie pan and press into pan to form even crust. 5. Freeze until solid, about 15 minutes 6. Bake at 375°F for about 12-14 minutes until lightly browned. Cool before filling with custard.

Buttermilk Coconut Custard Filling

Large Eggs (3): 150 grams/3 Tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon (47 ml)
Granulated Sugar: 166 grams/2/3 cup
Bleached all-Purpose Flour: 23 grams/3 Tablespoons
Coconut Cream: 190 grams/3/4 cup
Buttermilk: 484 grams/2 cups
Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
Kosher Salt: pinch
Flake Coconut, unsweetened: 170 grams/2 cups
Flake Coconut, sweetened: 64 grams/3/4 cup

1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, granulated sugar and flour together. Add coconut cream, buttermilk, vanilla extract and salt and mix thoroughly.
2. Stir in both coconut flakes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. 3. Pour into cooled pie shell. 4. Bake at 350°F until custard is set, about 30-35 minutes. 5. Cool thoroughly before topping with Date Cream

Date Cream

Heavy Cream: 464 grams/2 cups
Medjool Dates, pitted, cut in half: 113 grams/4 ounces/1 cup less 1-1/2 Tablespoons Coconut Chips, unsweetened: 1-1/2 cups Whipped Cream Stabilizer: 1 teaspoon
1. Place heavy cream, medjool dates and coconut chips into sauce pan and warm to a slight simmer for about 20 minutes. Cream should have slight notes of coconut and be gently sweetened with coconut.
2. Pass through chinois and chill cream. 3. Once cream is cool, add whipped cream stabilizer and whip to very soft peaks.

Garnish
Toasted Coconut Chips: 3/4 cup

A Man of Morels

Nov 27, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special for the LA Times Syndicate

first published May 1992, for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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The Original Movado Museum Watch


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The Designer Nathan George Horwitt, a self-portrait

I was moved to retell and post this story when I noticed all the Movado holiday ads featuring their latest permutation of the famed museum watch and, coincidentally, fellow blogger David Brawley posted a photo of the original on Face Book, which reminded me how much more aesthetically pleasing it was. In fact, Uncle Nat mocked the fancier designs. He detested the wider triangular hands and what he referred to as a the "foolish little jeweled nipple" replacing the discretely flat bezel of his design.

Uncle Nat was a great inspiration to me. He made me feel that anything was possible--but I thought this applied uniquely to him. When the first cover for The Cake Bible arrived, shortly before his 90th birthday, I turned it into a birthday card for him. I drew a candle on the cake and wrote the following note below the cake: Happy 90th Birthday dear Uncle Nat. Little did your father the rabbi know that he would have a great granddaughter, named after his wife, who would write a bible.

Two years later, shortly before he died, his last words to me were: Thank you for making the family proud. I felt as though I were given the blessing of Abraham. And I realized that a little of his magic just might have rubbed off on me.

Two years later I wrote this obituary:

Nathan George Horwitt, who died 2 years ago this June at the age of 92, at home, in his beloved Berkshires, was known by many as the designer of the Museum watch, the one with the dot that spawned a revolution of watches without numbers. Horwitt was also known as a witty raconteur, effective idealist, humanitarian and political activist, responsible for helping with the establishment of the state of Israel in the 1940s and for promoting "wave of wheat," designed to provide grain to India during the famine of 1951. I did not learn in detail about Horwitt's many activities and accomplishments until reading his obituaries, because though outspoken, he was innately modest. To me, he was known mainly as the most colorful, entertaining and magical member of our family: Uncle Nat.

I was a child when he completed the design for the Movado watch but remember how he showed me the drawings, describing with pride the elegant simplicity of his design, the dot signifying both sun at high noon and moon at midnight. As an industrial designer, his work was grounded in original, philosophical concepts, though sometimes they were whimsical: On the wall before me is the hilarious self-caricature he drew on a brown paper bag to entertain me one day at lunch over 30 years ago: half man, half dog with a bone in its mouth.

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Nat was my grandmother's younger brother; a Peter Pan of a person with dark brown eyes sometimes stern with impatience, sometimes quizzical with irony, other times disarmingly warm with intelligence and love.

Perhaps some saw Horwitt the dogmatist, but I experienced Uncle Nat the teacher. He was so entertaining, I learned from him without ever knowing it was a lesson. Driving along in a car he would suddenly screech to a halt, back up with terrifying speed, leap onto someone's lawn and pluck the mushroom he had spotted out of the corner of his eye. They know me here, he would explain. (One of Horwitt's sidelines was selling morel mushrooms to Lutèce in New York.)

A walk in the forest was full of experiences: Taste this mushroom! Can you feel the pepper on your tongue? That's why it's called the pepper mushroom, or see this mushroom with spots? It's called Amanita Muscaria, the fly mushroom, because it draws flies. Don't eat it, it's poisonous. My favorite lesson was: Do you see anything among those dead leaves? His eagle eyes had spotted a prized morel mushroom and after showing me the first, he pointed out how others always grew nearby and I joyfully scurried to find them.

He taught me not to eat too many wild mushrooms at one sitting by one year sending me 5 pounds of morels with a note: Don't eat them all at once! I thought he was kidding and ended up with the implied stomach ache.

Uncle Nat's final and most important lesson about morels was how to cook them. As simply as possible, he instructed. Here's how:

Serves: 4
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 pound morel mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
1 large clove garlic, smashed with the broad side of a knife
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, stir together the salt and several cups of cold water. Add the mushrooms and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. The salt draws out any live insects which may be lurking in the mushroom's cavities. Remove the mushrooms to a colander and rinse well under cold running water to remove any dirt. Cut off the stem bottoms and any of the stem that may be tough. Slice each mushroom into 1/8-inch thick rounds or cut them into pieces, depending on the size of the mushroom.

In a large, heavy frying pan with a lid, heat the butter over medium heat. When bubbling, add the smashed garlic clove and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms soften and become tender. Continue cooking uncovered, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until all liquid evaporates and the mushrooms begin to glaze lightly. Add the black pepper and taste to adjust the seasonings.

Caveat: do not pick wild mushrooms unless you have had expert training in their identification.

Links to Great Pie Recipes

Nov 26, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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So pleased that Escali, creator of the Rose Scale, included the line to my my apple pie recipe in this useful and excellent roundup of pies.

Escali Rose Levy Bakeware Digital Scale - Multi-Purpose - Rose

A WAY WITH LAMB OR, NO SHANK YOU

Nov 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special for the LA Times Syndicate

first published January 1996, for The Los Angeles Times Syndicate
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I've been selfish. Every lamb has 12 to 15 pounds of meat and only 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of it are shanks. Frankly, I've been afraid that if I sang their praises too loudly, there wouldn't be enough for me. Just today, I called my local supermarket to ask if there were any lamb shanks, to be told that not one was available before the relenting clerk admitted to possession of two. I reserved them on the spot. Tonight's dinner was so utterly delicious that I am revealing my secret immediately afterwards, while I'm still feeling sated and generous and before I can change my mind. Not only are lamb shanks one of the cheapest cuts of lamb, they also happen to be the most deliciously succulent. Of course you have to like the flavor of lamb. The lamb council told me two years ago that they were breeding lamb with less flavor because Americans don't like lamb that tastes lamby. (Could this be an oxymoron in the making?) If they are successful, lamb may even risk ressembling the way our pork now tastes, which is to say: not at all. If you, like me, don't agree with this catastrophic trend, you will be delighted to learn that it is close to impossible to breed the flavor out of the shanks. (Lamb council: do not take this on as a challenge!)

I have a sort of Newtonian gravitational theory that whatever is closest to the ground, and still edible, seems to acquire the most flavor. That includes lamb shanks, drum sticks of all birds, and even "pieds des cochons" (pigs feet). At the risk of sounding gluttonously carnivorous, the muscles in the lower leg also happen to offer the most moist and luscious texture, and the gelatinous cartilage of the foot is perhaps the most succulent of all.

This preparation for lamb shanks is one of my favorite Winter family dinners. It also is suitable for good friends but perhaps not for formal dining as it's hard to resist the temptation of eating the lamb right from the bone not to mention sucking out the marrow!

The garlic slivers, inserted deeply into the meat, melt into the lamb. The creamy richness of the lamb blends perfectly with the wheaty crunch of the bulgur, which is punctuated with sweet little bursts of current. A simple steamed green vegetable, such as Italian green beans, is the perfect accompaniment as is an assertive red wine such as a Cotes du Rhone or a California syrah.

LAMB SHANKS AND BULGUR
Serves four
4 lamb shanks, cracked in half
2 large cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon rosemary, preferably fresh
pepper to taste
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1 1/3 cups bulgur
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried currants
2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°F.
With the tip of a sharp knife, make small, deep slashes in lamb and insert slivers of garlic and rosemary. Set aside remaining garlic. Sprinkle shanks with freshly ground black pepper and place in a heavy pan which has a tight fitting lid. (A 10" cast iron skillet with glass top is ideal as low sides are preferable.)

Roast shanks uncovered for one hour for 3/4 pound shanks an additional 15 minutes for larger ones.) Meat will have pulled away slightly from bone. Remove skillet from oven; remove lamb, and drain out all the fat. (Enough will remain coating the pan to flavor the bulgur.) Place pan on burner over low heat. Mince reserved garlic and add to pan, stirring for about 1 minute or til cooked but not brown. Add bulgur and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and fry, stirring for about a minute to toast grains. Sprinkle in currants and add the boiling water. Sprinkle lamb on both sides with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and return lamb to pan. Cover at once and return to oven for 15 minutes or til all water is absorbed. Do not stir.

Remove from oven and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes up to 1/2 hour. Fluff bulgur with fork and serve.

Concord Grape Pie

Sep 28, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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There is nothing quite like Concord grapes and this is the small window time of the year when they are available here in the North East.

Heidi Legenbauer Williams has written a delightful and informative article for the Daily Gazette, which includes three recipes (one of which is my Concord Grape Pie from The Pie and Pastry Bible).

Check out your local farmers' market. You can stem and freeze the grapes, preferably in Ball jars, for at least a year or until you are ready to make the pie. As I said to Heidi when interviewed on the subject this past August: It's like eating wine.

Woody's Homemade Flour Tortillas for Chimichangas and Burritos

Jul 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Woody is not only a gifted baker, he is also a great cook. My favorite meal he has made for us is what we affectionately refer to as Chimis.

A chimichanga is basically a deep-fried burrito. Homemade flour tortillas rolled paper-thin make the perfect wrap for the chimichangas' filling. We have found that most tortillas bought in stores are too thick and have a cardboard-like texture and taste. Upon deep-frying, these homemade tortilla casings become light, crispy, and flakey. Our favorite filling is braised, shredded pork shoulder with black beans, roasted pablano peppers, sautéed onions, Monterey Jack cheese, and cilantro. Chicken and refried beans with seasonings and cheese is another great filling. We also like to serve the chimis with Pablano Cream Sauce spooned on top.

The tortillas are also excellent for deep-frying for nachos and flautas. You can also roll the tortilla dough slightly thicker for burritos, wraps, or quesadillas, all which are not deep-fried.

Special Equipment: A frying pan or griddle (preferably nonstick) 12 inches or more in diameter across its bottom; A 15 by 12 inch baking sheet; A large Dutch oven (10 inches in diameter); Eight 12 inch lengths of cord for four chimichangas

Flour Tortillas
Makes: Four 12 inch round tortillas : 106 grams each
(Six 9 inch round tortillas : 70 grams each)

Gold Medal or King Arthur bread flour: 260 grams/2 cups (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off)
Baking powder: 3/4 teaspoon
Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening or solid clarified butter, room temperature (see Notes): 50 grams/5-1/2 tablespoons
Water, warm (see Notes) : 118 grams/1/2 cup (118 ml)

Make the Tortilla Dough In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Detach the flat beater and add the shortening. Use the beater to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Reattach the beater and mix on low speed until the flour mixture is crumbly.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually drizzle in the warm water, until the dough sticks together and clears the sides of the bowl. There usually will be some water left over (around 1 to 2 teaspoons).

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Knead and Shape the Dough Discs On an unfloured countertop, briefly knead the dough to form a smooth ball (no more than 10 kneads and for less than 1 minute). Loosely wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the refrigerator). The dough ball should weigh around 424 grams.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces (106 grams each), or 6 pieces for 6 tortillas (70 grams each). Form each piece into a ball. Cup each ball with both of your hands and use your fingers to form a 'mushroom cap' shaped disc, about 4 inches in diameter. Cover each disc with plastic wrap. Let the discs rest for 30 minutes.

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Roll the Dough Discs Have ready 5 sheets of plastic wrap at least 12 inches square.

Lightly flour (preferably with Wondra) a countertop or doughmat and place a dough disc on it. (You want your surface to have just enough flour to let the dough roll out, without the disc sliding on the surface.)

The dough needs to be rolled very thin (1/16 inch or less). Roll the dough into a roughly 12 inch or larger disc. At the beginning, roll the dough from the center to the edges and side to side to keep a roughly round shape. Lift the dough from time to time and flip it over, adding just enough flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. To roll the tortilla to its final size, lightly hold down the dough with one hand, while rolling away from your hand with the other. Leave the tortilla untrimmed around the edges. It will be almost translucent.
If the dough softens and is difficult to roll, slip it onto a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate it for a few minutes until it firms.


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Place the tortilla on one of the sheets of plastic wrap and cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap.

Repeat with the other dough discs.

Continue reading "Woody's Homemade Flour Tortillas for Chimichangas and Burritos" »

Happy Chocolate Valentine's Day from Food52 and Me

Feb 12, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Photo Credit: Julia Garrtland

Kristen Miglore, of Food52, has just made live an exceptional and detailed posting on my favorite chocolate cake recipe "The Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte," from The Cake Bible.

Click here and enjoy!

Rose's Perfect Pie Plate Booklet

Jan 24, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Photo by Woody Wolston

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Perfect Pie Plate, 9-Inch, Ceramic, Rose

The pie plate originally came in a hatbox with a small recipe booklet containing 4 recipes. As it is no longer packaged this way, here is a link to purchase a new booklet which contains my top 10 American pie recipes, my favorite pie crust recipe, tips and step-by-step photos. The pages are laminated.

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Rose Levy Beranbaum Signature Series Rose's All Original All American Pie Recipe Deck, Multicolor

A Fabulously Flavorful Winter Side Dish

Jan 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Elizabeth Karmel, dear friend, chef/owner of Carolina Cue to Go, and author of Taming the Flame, created this marvelous recipe for Thanksgiving several years ago. She serves it as a side dish and even as a pie.

Elizabeth and I love the garnet yams for their beautiful color. This inspired me to add little flecks of Aleppo pepper which is not only colorful but also mildly spicy and flavorful.


Here is my adaptation:

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Maple Syrup Puree

Serves: 6 to 8

sweet potatoes/yams preferably garnet: 2.2 kg/5 pounds (10 medium or 5

large)

maple syrup: 382 grams/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons

sour cream: 242 grams/1 cup

unsalted butter, softened: 113 grams/1 stick/8 tablespoons

2 to 3 canned chipotles in adobo sauce

ground cinnamon: 2-1/2 teaspoons

Fine sea salt to taste

Optional: Aleppo pepper

Choose medium-size potatoes, about 5 inches long and feeling very heavy for their size. Clean off any dirt and bad spots with a rough brush or veggie cleaner. Dry well. Prick the tops with a fork about three times.

Set the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and turn the oven (unpreheated) to 425°F. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (1 hour if the potatoes are large and 1-1/4 hours if very large. Turn off the heat and let sit in the oven for 1 hour. The insides will be meltingly soft.

Meanwhile combine maple syrup, sour cream, butter, chipotles in adobo, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Cut the potatoes in lengthwise halves. Scoop the hot insides into the blender or food processor. Process until silky smooth, stirring down the sides as needed. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. If desired, sprinkle with Aleppo pepper.

Shirl's Cranberry Scone Thins

Jan 07, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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Shirl Gard, pastry chef and consultant, recently sent me her version of my Cranberry Scone Toppers from The Baking Bible. This is one of my favorite recipes and she has done an excellent presentation including step by step photos. Check out the posting on her website.

What could be more gratifying than sharing recipes and inspiring other professionals to create one's of their own! Oh wait--I know--their having the graciousness and professionalism to credit the originator of the recipe as did Shirl.!

My New Marvelous Mini Silicone Cake Pan

Dec 07, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Products

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Harold Import Company European-Grade Silicone Rose Levy Beranbaum's Marvelous Mini Cake Pan, Red

I created this silicone pan, inspired by the French financier pan, to bake mini cakes but most of all for brownies. They pop right out--each with a perfect shape and size and fine crust all around that keeps them from staling. It's far easier getting the batter into the molds than having to cut them afterwards!

This batter can be made ahead and transported as there is no leavening to dissipate.

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The brownies are light in texture but get their exceptional moistness from cream cheese and fudginess from the best quality cocoa and chocolate. for extra creaminess optional little plugs of ganache are poured into holes made with a chop stick after baking. It is most gratifying to see people casually pop a brownie in their mouths expecting something ordinary and then watch their eyes widen in glad surprise. chocolate never gets better than this.

Continue reading "My New Marvelous Mini Silicone Cake Pan" »

Kimchi Fried Rice

Nov 28, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

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This is the terrific recipe I blogged about after visiting Toronto this past summer for the Parapan Olympics and enjoyed it for lunch at The Chef's House. Chef Oliver Li emailed the recipe and I have now tried it with both the fabulous MamaO's kimchi paste and their kimchi. The kimchi paste is faster and coats the rice more evenly but my first choice is the chopped kimchi as it adds a lovely crispness as well as flavor. This is now a permanent recipe in my repertoire.

from The Chef's House, Oliver Li CCC, Chef de Cuisine, Toronto

Serves: 2 to 3 for lunch, 4 to 6 as a side dish

Vegetable oil: 2 tablespoons
4 bacon strips/120 grams, cut cross-wise into 1/4 inch slices 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 183 grams/1 cup chopped kimchi or 1 tablespoon kimchi paste 2 cups cooked the day before rice, I prefer basmati (100 grams/1/2 cup raw) 2 scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok, preferably non-stick.

Add the bacon, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften and just begins to brown--about 5 minutes.

Turn the heat to high if using the chopped kimchi, add the second tablespoon of oil, and stir it for 2 to 3 minutes. If using the paste, leave the heat on medium and stir it in until combined.

Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring. Then add the scallions and cook, stirring for 1 minute more.

Note: basmati is the only rice that when cooked grows longer and also increases by 4 times. With other varieties the usual increase is X3.

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