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You'll find over 365 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey

November 9, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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This Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey may be the best turkey I have ever made and it’s relatively easy. This recipe is from Serious Eats’ J. Kenji López-Alt. He’s been recommending this method for the last few years. Read what he has to say about it here.

In a nutshell, I found everything he said about this turkey to be true. It cooks much faster than roasting it conventionally, the skin is beautifully crisp, and the meat is juicy and delicious. You can add the backbone to the neck and giblets to make great turkey broth for gravy. Plus, there was enough room in the oven, with the turkey’s low profile, for me to use the second oven rack to slide in the casserole dish with the cornbread dressing to heat up.

I used Kenji’s dry brine which he says leads to a juicier bird with a crispier skin. You can, however, use this roasting method without brining the turkey.

I bought the turkey on November 2 and found that my supermarkets did not have fresh turkeys available yet. After reading an article in the San Francisco Chronicle rating several west coast turkeys, I decided to buy an O Organics (Safeway) frozen turkey. I have to say that it was a good looking bird in its raw state and delicious after roasting. The quality of the turkey probably had something to do with the success of my Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey.

I used a large rimmed baking pan with a rack for the recipe. Kenji says you could also use the top of a broiler pan if you don’t have a large rack.

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to roast a turkey this holiday season, I highly recommend this Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey! The recipe may look long because I tried to make each step really clear, but, trust me, this is one of the easiest turkeys I have ever roasted!

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Ok, so it’s not a Norman Rockwell beautiful roast turkey, but it was excellent! :)

Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey

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Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey

(Adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt’s method on Serious Eats)

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Although Kenji says you can use a 12 – 14 pound turkey, I found that my 12.5 pound turkey barely fit in the pan. You may want to stick with a turkey that’s no more than 12 – 12.5 pounds.

Be sure to allow adequate time to defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator. I bought the turkey on Tuesday. On Saturday it was defrosted enough to proceed, but it was still just a bit icy inside. The rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours for every 4 – 5 pounds.

For best results, dry brine the turkey, but this step can be skipped. You can just butterfly the turkey and roast it.

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(print the recipe)

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Special equipment: Rimmed baking sheet, wire rack or broiler pan top

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To dry brine the turkey:

2 tablespoons kosher salt (use just 1 tablespoon if using regular salt)

1 tablespoon baking powder

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  1. Butterfly the turkey. Remove the neck and the giblets from inside the turkey. Throw the liver out; reserve the neck and other giblets for broth. I also cut off the tail part (known as the “Pope’s nose”) to use for the broth. Turn the turkey on its breast and, using poultry shears, cut out the backbone. Turn it over, splay the wings and the legs, and press down hard on the breastbone to flatten it. You’ll hear a couple of cracking sounds. Check out Kenji’s excellent slide show to see step by step directions. (I enlisted Bob to butterfly the turkey for me and he did a great job!)
  1. Put the butterflied turkey on a rack in a large rimmed baking sheet. Stir the salt and the baking powder together and sprinkle it all over the turkey. Rub it in a bit. Place the turkey in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 12 – 24 hours. (You can brine it for up to 3 days, but if you brine it for more than 24 hours, cover it loosely with plastic wrap or cheesecloth to prevent moisture loss.)

Turkey with salt/baking powder mixture sprinkled on it ready to go in the refrigerator

Dry brine

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Roasting the Turkey

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1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 large carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

1 (12 – 12.5) butterflied turkey (dry brined, if desired)

1 tablespoon oil

Kosher salt and black pepper (use salt only if you did NOT dry brine the turkey)

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  1. Put an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 450˚.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Make the edge of the foil go up the sides if your turkey extends a bit over the edge of the pan.
  3. Scatter the chopped vegetables in the pan.

Note how I made the foil go up over the rim of the pan.

Veggies in the pan

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  1. Place the rack directly on the vegetables and put the turkey on the rack.
  1. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. (If you did NOT brine the turkey, sprinkle it liberally with kosher salt and black pepper.) Drizzle the oil over the turkey and rub it all over.

Ready for the oven

  1. Put the turkey in the oven with the legs towards the back of the oven and roast the turkey for about 80 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers 165˚. (I checked mine at 85 minutes and the temperature was well beyond 165˚, so do check at 80 minutes.) If your oven roasts unevenly, you made want to rotate the pan halfway through the roasting. 
  2. Remove the turkey on the rack to a new baking sheet or cutting board. (I found this easiest to do using a sturdy fork to lift up a corner of the rack so I could get a grip on it with an oven mitt.)
  3. Carefully pick up the foil with the veggies and turkey broth in the pan. Fold the edges up and pour the broth through a strainer into a measuring cup. These drippings can be added to your gravy.
  4. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and let it rest 20 – 30 minutes.
  5. Carve the turkey and serve.

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Turkey stock for gravy

(This can be made while the turkey is roasting, or the day before if you dry brine the bird.)

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1 tablespoon oil

Turkey neck, giblets (except liver) turkey back, and tail

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 large stalk of celery, roughly chopped

1½ quarts low sodium chicken broth

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  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet.
  1. Add all of the turkey parts and cook, stirring occasionally until browned.
  1. Add the vegetables and continue to cook until they have softened a bit and are beginning to brown.

for broth

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  1. Remove the turkey and vegetables to a 3 – 4 quart saucepan.
  1. Pour a bit of the chicken broth into the skillet to deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. Pour this deglazed liquid into the saucepan.
  1. Add the rest of the chicken broth to the sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes and then strain.

Turkey broth

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  1. Use the broth to proceed with your favorite gravy recipe, or use Kenji’s recipe.

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Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Roast Turkey 2

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Jacques Pépin’s Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze – for Two

October 28, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Jacques Pépin has a lovely new cookbook, Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen. I was pretty sure that this would be a cookbook that I wanted to own, but I did what I usually do. I requested it from the library to check it out first. (I was one of the first people to request it so I got a brand new copy to explore as soon as the library received their copies. I love it when that happens!)

This is a wonderful book. It’s a very personal look at the meals that Jacques prepares for his wife, Gloria, and family and friends. It’s full of little essays by Jacques exploring different topics about food, cooking, and sharing food. There are a lot of beautiful photos of food and some of Jacques’ artwork.

Tom Douglas recently interviewed Jacques for the radio show he hosts along with Chef Thierry Rautureau, Seattle Kitchen. It was fun listening to these two chefs talk. I totally agree with Tom’s impression of the book.

Tom said, “This is a love letter. This is a love letter not only to home cooking, to food, but to your wife.” He went on to say that although Jacques says this is just what he and Gloria have for dinner, “That’s the most personal meal there is when you cook for your spouse.”

Jacques acknowledged, “There is nothing which can compare to sitting down around the table and sharing food.”

I have to admit, I have not thoroughly read Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen. I have examined it enough to know that, indeed, I do want to add this book to my collection. I want to save the bulk of it to leisurely enjoy when I own it.

I do have a recipe to share with you from the book. Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze was SO easy to make, and Bob and I both enjoyed it. I have seen so many versions of miso-glazed salmon and have been meaning to try it for quite some time now. Knowing how reliable Jacques Pépin’s recipes are, it was a no-brainer for me to try his version.

I made Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze for Two. Jacques’ recipe serves 4, but it was very easy to cut the ingredients in half to serve 2. The only thing I changed was I broiled the salmon fillets longer than the recipe suggests. Jacques has acknowledged that he and Gloria like fish cooked so it’s “browned but still pink inside”. I cooked the salmon a bit longer because Bob and I like it when it gets to that “just done” stage. It was delicious!

This blog post is my love letter to Jacques Pépin. I find him so inspiring with his simple, perfect techniques. Check out his new book, and give this Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze for Two a try. I think you’ll like it!

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Jacques Pepin’s Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze served with steamed rice and a big vegetable salad on the side.

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze

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Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze for Two

(Adapted from Jacques Pépin’s recipe in Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2, can easily be multiplied to serve 4, 6, or 8

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Jacques broiled the salmon fillets for just 4 minutes. If you like salmon cooked until it’s browned but still pink inside check it after 4 minutes. If you like it more done, broil a bit longer. 8 minutes was perfect for us.

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1 tablespoon red miso paste

1½ teaspoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon tamari or dark soy sauce (use gluten free tamari, if needed)

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

½ teaspoon hot chili sauce, like Sriracha

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2 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each and about 1¼ inches thick

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I bought one 12-ounce King salmon fillet and sliced it in half for two servings. You can see the miso glaze I prepared on the left in a little bowl. You can also see the pin bones I removed.

King salmon

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  1. Combine the miso paste, syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and hot sauce together. Mix until smooth.
  2. If desired, pull the pin bones out of the salmon with tweezers. (Click here to see how.) Put the salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover the fillets with the miso glaze.a

Miso glaze on salmon

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  1. Refrigerate the fillets for at least an hour, and up to overnight. (I chilled mine for about 3 hours. I did not cover the fillets as Jacques suggests because I couldn’t figure out how to do it without having the glaze stick to the plastic wrap or whatever I would use. I would figure out how to cover it if I were to refrigerate it for longer than 3 hours.)
  2. Take the salmon out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to cook it.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat the broiler with the cooking rack positioned about 5 or 6 inches from the heat.
  4. Broil for 4 – 8 minutes, or until done to your liking. My salmon was just the way we like it at the 8 minute mark.

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Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze 3

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Union Square Café Bar Nuts

October 4, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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I did a Google search for a recipe for Union Square Café Bar Nuts and discovered ten pages of recipes. Yes, these nuts from Union Square Café in New York are very popular. They have been on my to-do list for some time and I finally made them yesterday.

I chose Jennifer Segal’s recipe from her outstanding blog, Once Upon a Chef, as a template but I made a few changes. Jennifer uses unsalted roasted nuts and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. I like the quality and the mixture in Kirkland Signature (Costco) Extra Fancy Mixed Nuts so that’s what I used. They are roasted and salted. To me, they don’t taste nearly as salty as some other brands so I added just a bit of salt to the spice mixture.

You can use any kind of nuts that you like. If they are roasted and salted, you can omit the salt or just add a bit. If they’re roasted and not salted, add 1 teaspoon of salt. Raw nuts can be roasted for a bit longer (10 – 15 minutes) until they are lightly browned.

These Union Square Café Bar Nuts make an excellent snack or appetizer to serve with drinks. They’re so easy to make! I know they’ll be on the menu at Chez Dedon again soon.

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Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts

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Union Square Café Bar Nuts

(Adapted from Jennifer Segal’s recipe on her Once Upon a Chef blog.)

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(print the recipe)

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The amount of salt will depend on whether your nuts are salted or not. For unsalted nuts, use about a teaspoon of kosher salt.

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2½ cups Kirkland Signature (Costco) Extra Fancy Mixed Nuts (or your favorite mixture)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons maple sugar (or dark brown sugar)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.
  2. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Roast for 5 minutes.
  4. While the nuts are roasting, mix the rosemary, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the roasted nuts to the bowl and toss well until the butter mixture is distributed well. Serve immediately.

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(Can be made ahead of time and then reheated in a microwave oven. Timing will depend on your microwave. About a minute on 80 percent power worked well with mine.)

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Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts 2

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Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

October 2, 2015

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By Kath Dedon

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We planted a plum tomato plant this year for the first time. I had hoped that they would be fantastic eaten raw in summer salads. We have had a terrific crop from the one plant, but they just aren’t that great eaten raw.

I have made Slow-Roasted Tomatoes three times now and this recipe is a winner! It transforms so-so plum tomatoes into tomato candy! They’re good tossed with pasta, chopped in a salad, or just eaten as a snack.

My inspirations for the recipe were a blog post on Smitten Kitchen and a recipe in Domenica Marchetti’s The Glorious Vegetables of Italy. I love the way Deb on Smitten Kitchen doesn’t use any measurement for the ingredients. Just use the tomatoes you have (she uses cherry tomatoes), drizzle with olive oil, add a few unpeeled garlic cloves and roast at 225˚. Domenica uses plum tomatoes, gives measurements for the ingredients and roasts at 275˚.

I went with the higher temperature that Domenica uses since I was also roasting plum tomatoes. Bob and I both loved the intense, sweet flavor of these tomatoes!

If you are harvesting plum tomatoes or picking them up at farmers’ markets I highly recommend Slow-Roasted Tomatoes. They are fantastic and there are so many ways to use them. Think pasta, salads, bruschetta; served with grilled meats, sausage, or polenta. Or just snack on the fabulous tomato candy!

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Slow-Roasted Tomatoes 2

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Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

(Adapted from recipes on the Smitten Kitchen and in The Glorious Vegetables of Italy)

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(print the recipe)

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Plum tomatoes, washed and cut in half lengthwise (Seed them if you want, but I tried seeding and not seeding and concluded seeding is not necessary.)

Olive oil

A few unpeeled cloves of garlic

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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Homegrown plum tomatoes

Homegrown plum tomatoes

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1. Preheat the oven to 275˚.

2. Spread the tomatoes out on a large baking sheet. (Line with foil or parchment paper, if you want.)

3. Scatter the garlic cloves around on the pan.

4. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Roast for 3 – 4 hours until they are done as you like them.

Roasted Tomatoes

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6. Store covered with olive oil in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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Cherry Tomatoes Variation from Domenica Marchetti:    Roast cherry or grape tomatoes for about 1½ hours.

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Pasta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Shaved Parmesan Cheese served with Green Beans

Roasted tomatoes with pasta

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Slow-roasted Tomates 3

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Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans

September 7, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans are really easy to make and they taste great! I adapted the recipe from Elise’s recipe for Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans on Simply Recipes.

Elise uses the traditional molasses and brown sugar for her beans. I subbed pure maple syrup and maple sugar. I also added a teaspoon of vinegar when the beans were done for balance. I used sherry vinegar, but you could also use cider vinegar.

I loved how simple it was to get the beans going. I know I’ll be making these Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans again. I might try subbing dry Colman’s mustard for the Dijon mustard next time.

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Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans

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Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans

(Adapted from Elise Bauer’s recipe on simplyrecipes.com)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 8 – 10 as a side dish

1 pound dry navy beans

1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or molasses)

1/3 cup maple sugar (or brown sugar)

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3 cups hot water

½ pound salt pork (can substitute slab bacon), rind cut off and cut into ½-inch to 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped (1½ cups)

1 teaspoon sherry or cider vinegar

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1.Rinse the beans. Put them in a pot or a large bowl and cover with water so they are at least 2 inches below the surface. Soak overnight and then drain.

2. Combine the maple syrup (or molasses), maple sugar (or brown sugar), mustard, cloves, and hot water in a quart pitcher or bowl.

3. Using the fattiest pieces, put half of the salt pork in the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer half of the drained beans over the pork. Layer all of the chopped onion over the beans. Put the remaining beans over the onion and then top them with the remaining salt pork.

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Ingredients layered in the slow cooker

Beans and salt pork

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4. Pour the maple/water mixture over the beans. The beans should be just barely covered with water. Add a bit more hot water if they are not.

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Maple/water mixture poured over the beans

Water added

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5. Cook on Low for 8 hours, or until the beans are done. (The actual time could depend on how hot your slow cooker is, or how fresh the beans are. 8 hours was just right in my slow cooker.)

6. Stir in the vinegar and serve. Or you can cool, put it in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until the next day. Reheat and serve. Elise said it’s even better the next day.

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5 Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans

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Peach Crisp

August 16, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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August is peach season, so it’s the perfect time of year for the Peach Crisp! I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything the Basics, although I did make some changes.

Mark uses cold butter which he cuts into ¼-inch bits and puts in the freezer for a few minutes. My butter was softened at room temperature. That’s what I used, and it worked fine. Either way, the butter goes with the other topping ingredients for a quick whirl in the food processor.

I also cut back on the sugar. Mark calls for 2/3 cup packed brown sugar. I used ½ cup of maple sugar and it seemed just right.

Lastly, I substituted an all-purpose gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour and it worked just fine.

Sorry, but I didn’t take photos to illustrate the process. Frankly, I wasn’t sure this would be a “blog-worthy” recipe. However, I was really pleased with the way it turned out! I loved the topping and would use it with other fruits as well. Mr. Bittman suggests apples, pears, plums, cherries, or berries. If you use berries, toss them with 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to help thicken their juices.

Served with a bit of ice cream, this Peach Crisp is a perfect summertime dessert!

aPeach crisp with ice cream

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Peach Crisp

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything the Basics)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 6 – 8

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5 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan (I used softened butter. If yours is cold, cut it into ¼-inch bits.)

6 cups pitted, sliced peaches (2 – 3 pounds)

Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

½ cup packed brown sugar (or maple sugar)

½ cup rolled oats (not instant oats)

½ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)

¼ cup chopped nuts, optional (I didn’t use them.)

Pinch salt

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Vanilla ice cream for serving

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  1. Heat the oven to 400˚. Lightly butter a square baking pan or a pie plate.

2. Toss the peach slices with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and put them in the baking pan.

3. Put the rest of the sugar, butter, rolled oats, flour, nuts if using, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is mixed but still has some texture. (Mr. Bittman suggests you can mix it by hand by mashing it together between your fingers. This would probably work better with cold butter than with softened butter.)

4. Sprinkle the topping over the peaches. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. (Mine was done in 30 minutes.)

5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Peach crisp 3

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Peach crisp with ice cream 2

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Simple Salmon Chirashi

August 8, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Simple Salmon Chirashi is a great salmon dish from Sunset magazine. Their head notes explain that “chirashi” means scattered in Japanese and chirashi is typically a rice bowl topped with sashimi. Instead of using raw fish, Sunset uses cooked salmon.

This seemed like the perfect recipe for the special Koshihikari rice that Carrie brought back for me from Niigata. Many consider it the best sushi rice in Japan. Carrie found it packaged in a cute plastic rice kernel which is obviously designed for gift-giving.

For the salmon, we were lucky enough to have some that friends brought back from their fishing trip to Alaska. (You know who you are. Thank you! :) )

This Simple Salmon Chirashi was very easy to prepare and I loved it! With the sauce that accompanies it, the flavors are very similar to sushi. If you love sushi, I think you’ll love this.

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Simple Salmon Chirashi

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Simple Salmon Chirashi

(Adapted from a Sunset magazine recipe)

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Sunset suggests using a medium-grain rice. I used Koshihikari sushi rice. I think any type of rice would work. Make it gluten free with wheat-free soy sauce or tamari.

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2 (with some of the delicious rice leftover)

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3/4 cup rice

2 fillets of salmon (each one 5 – 6 ounces)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¾ cup halved and sliced cucumber

½ large avocado, cut into cubes

½ sheet nori, cut into thin strips

1 green onion, sliced diagonally

2½ tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)

1 tablespoon wasabi powder

¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)

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Look at the cute rice kernel container that the rice came in!

Koshihikari rice from Niigata

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1. Cook the rice. (I used this method in my rice cooker.)

2. Prep the vegetables while the rice is cooking.

3. Mix the soy sauce, wasabi powder, and toasted sesame oil together to make the sauce.

Sauce ingredients

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4. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Line a baking sheet with foil and put the salmon fillets on it. I use clean tweezers to remove the pin bones.

5. Sprinkle the salmon with the salt and pepper. Roast the salmon for 8 – 10 minutes. (The rule is 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.)

6. Put some rice in two bowls. Top them with the vegetables, nori, and the salmon fillets. If using, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve with the sauce on the side for dipping.

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Salmon Chirashi

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