Cranberry Syrup

1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup water

Cook sugar in a dry 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted and turns a deep golden caramel.

Tilt pan and carefully add cranberries and water (caramel will harden and vigorously steam). Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is completely dissolved, then pour syrup through a very fine sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing hard on solids.

Orange Pudding Cake

2 large navel oranges
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup whole milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F with rack in middle. Butter a 1 1/2-quart gratin or other shallow baking dish.

Finely grate 2 teaspoons zest from 1 orange, then squeeze 1/2 cup juice from oranges.

Whisk together sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk together yolks, milk, butter, zest, orange juice, and lemon juice in a small bowl and add to flour mixture, whisking until just combined.

Beat egg whites in another large bowl with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. Stir about one fourth of whites into batter to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly (batter will be thin).

Pour into baking dish and bake in a hot water bath until puffed and golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

from Epicurious.

Brownie Pudding Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups boiling water

Accompaniment: coffee ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Into a bowl sift together the flour, 1/3 cup of the cocoa powder, the baking powder, and the salt. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, the granulates sugar, the butter, the milk, and the vanilla, add the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Stir in the walnuts and spread the batter evenly in an ungreased 8-inch-square baking pan. In a bowl whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup cocoa powder, the brown sugar, and the water, pour the mixture over the batter, and bake the cake in the middle of the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it.

Serve the cake hot with the ice cream.

from Epicurious.

Fudge Pudding Cake

11 /4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup, packed, light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee or hot water
Vanilla or coffee ice cream for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, ? cup cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat egg into milk and add vanilla, espresso powder and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients. Mix to blend. Spread in a 9-inch square baking pan or a glass or ceramic baking dish.

Whisk remaining cocoa with brown sugar and spread over batter. Slowly pour hot coffee or water on top. Do not mix.

Place pan in oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until batter appears set and sauce is bubbling. Remove to a rack and let rest 15 minutes. To serve, scoop portions into goblets or onto plates and top each with ice cream.

Noodle Kugel

For the topping:
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the kugel:
5 ounces fine egg noodles, cooked and drained (2 cups cooked)
3 eggs
8 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Make the topping: In a bowl, mix cornflake crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Make kugel: Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan and place noodles in the pan.

In a blender, puree eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Pour over noodles and sprinkle topping over all.

Bake kugel for 1 hour or until pudding is cooked though and slightly puffy.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw)
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 375 F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (I used an oval dish this time, because they fit better in the bottom of a shopping bag.)

Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Chicken and Dumplings

5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Table salt and ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 medium leeks , white and llight green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, minced
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons reserved chicken fat (or unsalted butter)

For the stew: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Pour off the chicken fat and reserve. Return the pot to medium-high heat and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken. Pour off and reserve any chicken fat.

Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, milk, thyme, and bay leaves. Nestle the chicken, with any accumulated juices, into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 1 hour.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.

For the dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. Following the steps below, drop golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the stew, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

To make the dumplings: Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the dumpling batter onto a soup spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon. Cover the stew with the dumplings, leaving about 1/4 inch between each. When fully cooked, the dumplings will have doubled in size.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 (about 6 pounds) roasting hen or chicken
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons pepper, or to taste
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour, or more as needed
3 cups milk, whole or 2 percent
1 batch Bisquick dumplings, with a few extra tablespoons of milk added to make the dough soft enough to spoon

In a large pot, combine the chicken, onion, salt and pepper. Add enough water (about 8 cups) just to cover the chicken. Bring the water to a simmer and let the chicken cook until tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

When the chicken is tender, remove it from the cooking liquid. Strain the liquid and set it aside. Discard the onions. Carefully remove the chicken meat from the bones. Discard the skin and bones. Cut or tear the chicken meat into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for a minute. Pour in 4 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, whisking to combine. Add the milk and allow the sauce to come to a boil, then reduce the heat. The sauce should be only slightly thickened, more souplike than saucelike. Add the chicken pieces and taste, adjusting seasonings as desired. If the sauce is thick, add more of the reserved chicken stock.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, add golf-ball-size spoonfuls of the dumpling dough, dividing the dough so there are 12 dumplings. Adjust the heat so the sauce just simmers, with the cover off the pot. Cook the dumplings for 10 minutes. Cover and let cook for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Strawberries and Dumplings

1 quart (about 2 pints or 4 cups or 1.25 pounds or just shy of 600 grams) strawberries, trimmed and thickly sliced (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Accompaniment: Heavy cream

Stir together strawberries, sugar and lemon in a 4-quart heavy saucepan and let stand, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 15 minutes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Heat the milk and butter together just until the butter melts. Stir this warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth. Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the dumpling batter onto a small spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon. (a small cookie scoop for this ? a #70 – makes 16 dumplings.) Cover the fruit with the dumplings, leaving about 1/4 inch between each.

Tightly cover saucepan and reduce heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, until dumpling looks dry on top, 15 to 18 minutes; the dumplings will have doubled in size. Let stand off heat, uncovered, five minutes, then drizzle with heavy cream right before serving.

This dish definitely tastes best freshly made, as the dumplings do dry out a bit by the second. But then it starts to taste like a cobbler, and really, who is going to complain about that?

From Smitten Kitchen.

Blue Elephant Naam Jim Sub Pa Rod (Pineapple Sauce)

1 red chili (big sweet Serrano), deseeded
1/2 piece red bell pepper
5 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, choped
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Steam or boil chili, pepper, and garli until they are cooked and soft.

Blend chilies, red bell pepper, and garlic with pineapple in a processor for about 1 minute.

Bring mixture to a boil, add water and remaining ingredients, and simmer until it turns shiny red.
Serve with deep fried foods.

Keeps for 2 weeks.

Blue Elephant Panang Nua (Panang Beef Curry)

1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 tablespoon red curry past
1/2 teaspoon ground, roasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground, roasted coriander seeds
1/2 cup coconut milk (2 ladles full)
beef in bit sized pieces (soak overnight in pineapple juice to soften)
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
10 Thai sweet basil leaves
1 large serrano (sweet red) chili, thinly sliced on the bias

1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon peanut butter

coconut cream skimmed from top of can
Thai sweet basil leaves

In a saucepan, heat oil until hot. Saute curry paste and seeds about 2 minutes.

Add one ladleful of coconut milk. Mix with paste. Simmer 2 minutes.

Add beef and remaining ladleful of coconut milk.

Add sugar, fish sauce, and lime leaves. Simmer 5 minutes, then add penaut butter and red chili.

Add sweet basil leaves and serve garnished with coconut cream and sweet basil leaves.

Note: Essentially, this recipe uses red curry paste to make penang curry paste.

Blue Elephant Kruang Kaeng Daeng (Red Curry Paste)

5 red dried chilies, soaked 15 minutes in room temperature water
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon sliced galangal (omit if unavailable)
1 coriander root or stem
1/2 tablespoon kaffir lime or lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted until they pop, then ground
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, roasted until they pop, then ground
1 teaspoon salt
4 pieces of shallot
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste

Pound or process all ingredients until they are well blended into a smoothe paste (5-10 minutes of pounding). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Paste will keep for 2 weeks in refrigerator in air tight container or 2 months in freezer.

Use about 2 tablespoons to serve 3-4 people.

Only difference between red and green curry is color of chilies.

Blue Elephant Kai Yang (Grilled Chicken)

150 grams chicken breast, cut into long strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 grams coriander root
10 grams garlic
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon light soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soya sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar

In a mortar, pound garlic, coriander root, and white pepper until it turns into a paste.

In a mixing powl, mix the paste and seasoning. Add chicken strips, then vegetable oil. Stab paste and chicken with a fork to infuse. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Place the marinated chicken on a skewer, weaving left and right.

Grill for 5 minutes.
Serve with Som Tam.

Blue Elephant Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)

80 grams green raw papaya and carrot, peeled and grated into long, thin strips
2 cloves garlic, peeled
5 greeen birds-eye chilies
15 grams long beans cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
35 grams cherry tomato halves

1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juic
1 teaspoon tamarind juice

In a mortor, pound the garlic and chilies.

Add shrimp and pound.

Add beans and roughly pound.

Add seasonings and toss.

Add cherry tomatoes and gently press with pestle.

Add papaya and peanuts and stir well.
Serve with Kai Yang.

Blue Elephant Tom Yam (Sour and Spicy Soup)

Main Ingredients:
200 grams chicken stock
40 grams chicken breast

Vegetables and Herbs:
5 smashed bird’s eye chilies
1 stack coriander, roots and stems smashed
4 pieces galangal, thinly sliced
1 stem lemongrass, cut in halves and crushed
1 leaf kaffir lime, shredded (or substitute lemon rind)
2 small mushrooms, quartered
1 cherry tomato
7 holy basil leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons tamarind juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Boil stock and put in all herbs except chilies and basil.

Add tomato, boil for 2 minutes.

Add chicken and mushrooms.

Add seasoning, chilies, and basil.

Remove coriander root and serve.

Chocolate Cognac Mousse

8 oz bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao), chopped
3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
3 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon Cognac or other brandy
1 cup very cold heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt

Melt chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, gently stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, beat yolks in a small bowl with an electric mixer until thick enough to form a ribbon that takes a few seconds to dissolve, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk yolks into chocolate mixture along with Cognac, then cool to warm.

Beat cream in a medium bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks.

Beat whites with salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks.

Fold whipped cream and beaten whites into chocolate mixture gently but thoroughly. Transfer to stemmed glasses, 4-oz ramekins, or a serving dish.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage and Chestnuts

pumpkin or sweet potato gnocchi
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)
1/3 cup bottled roasted chestnuts, very thinly sliced with an adjustable-blade slicer or a sharp vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry sage leaves in 3 batches, stirring, until they turn just a shade lighter and crisp (they will continue to crisp as they cool), about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt.

Fry chestnuts in 3 batches, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt. Reserve oil in skillet.

Make sauce:
Add butter to oil in skillet with 1/2 tsp salt and cook until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook gnocchi:
Add half of gnocchi to a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water and stir. Cook until they float to surface, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to skillet with butter sauce. Cook remaining gnocchi in same manner, transferring to skillet as cooked.
Heat gnocchi in skillet over medium heat, stirring to coat.

Serve sprinkled with fried sage and chestnuts and grated cheese.

Chocolate Cream Pie

1 prepared 9-inch pie shell
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream

Garnish: bittersweet chocolate shavings (optional)

Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-qt heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, 2 minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, beat cream with remaining 2 Tbsp sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie.

Pie (without whipped cream) can be chilled up to 1 day.

Basic Starches

Starch: potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, Asian noodles, brown rice or other whole grains, beans (canned or dried and cooked), good bread

–Creamy Onion – 1/2 stick butter or 1/2 cup cream, thinly sliced shallot, splash or red or white wine, spoonful of capers

–Tomato-Garlic – Half dozen chopped fresh or canned plum tomatoes, olive oil, a clove or two of sliced garlic

–Balsamic-Honey – 1/2 cup each balsamic vinegar, olive oil, water, and chopped nuts; spoonful of honey if you like

–Spicy Sesame – 1 part sesame oil and 2 parts peanut oil, plus one or two chopped fresh hot chilies or dried chili flakes

–Garlic-Herb – 1/4 cup olive oil, lots of chopped garlic, a sprinkle of chopped fresh oregano

–Creamy Onion – chopped fresh parsley or dill
–Tomato-Garlic – chopped fresh basil or cilantro
–Balsamic-Honey – lots of black pepper
–Spicy Sesame – chopped scallions
–Garlic-Herb – grated parmesan, crumbled feta or queso fresco

Start with 4 cut-up potatoes or sweet potatoes or about a pound of anything else. Boil, steam, or bake as simply as possilbe. Undercook pasta and rice a bit so it still has some bit. Cut bread into thick slices or large crutons and toast tthe pieces until they are golden crisp on all sides.

Put the flavor ingredients into the appropriate sized pan with some salt and pepper. Set over medium heat and cook until they are fragrant.

Drizzle flavorings over warm, cooked starches. Add finishes.