Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Shallots

1 to 1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes [1 large or 2 medium]
3 to 4 shallots, peeled, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks. Place in a 9?13-inch glass baking dish. Add shallots and garlic to baking dish and drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss gently with a wooden spoon to avoid breaking up shallots. Season generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Toss gently again to spread seasonings more or less evenly.

Place baking dish on middle rack in oven and roast 40 to 55 minutes, stirring gently a couple of times during the roasting, until sweet potatoes are tender and slightly browned. The sweet potatoes may absorb a bit of the olive oil and appear to be drying out?just drizzle with some more oil before tossing them. The shallots may brown even more than the sweet potatoes, and the chopped garlic will almost certainly blacken. That?s okay?all will be delicious. If your sweet potatoes were refrigerated before roasting, as mine were, you will probably need the full 55 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Arroz con Leche

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 strips of lemon or orange zest
3 whole cloves or a tiny pinch of ground cloves
4 cups water
1 egg
3 cups whole milk
1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (optional)


Soak the rice, cinnamon sticks, lemon or orange zest and whole or powdered cloves in the water in a heavy saucepan for 1 hour.

After soaking, bring the rice mixture to a boil on high heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil (about 5 minutes), lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.

While rice is cooking, beat the egg in a bowl. Add the milk and stir well to mix. Add the egg mixture, vanilla extract and condensed milk to the rice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, until it thickens slightly or until desired consistency, about 25 to 35 minutes This pudding does most of its thickening as it cools, but the end result should still be thinner than traditional rice pudding.

Maple Glazed Cookies

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg yolk

1/4 cup maple syrup
coarse salt (such as Maldon)


Combine flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Beat in maple syrup and egg yolk until even. Reduce the mixer beat on low, and gradually add in the flour mixture. Mix until completely combined and crumbly.

In your hands, form little balls from the dough around 1 1/2 inches (3.5 cm) in size. Place them on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper around 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Flatten the cookies using the bottom of a glass or mug. Bake the cookies at 350 F (175 C) for 12-14 minutes until the edges turn slightly golden.

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a small pot, bring maple syrup into a boil and simmer until it has reduced to about 3/4 of the original amount. Spoon the thickened maple syrup on top of the cookies and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before serving.

Chewy Granola Bars

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces)*
1/3 cup peanut butter or almond butter (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water


1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for a sweetness akin to most purchased bars; use less for a mildly sweet bar)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces)*
1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (I used almond butter) (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, namely because I was not convinced that the flavor came through)
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (see Note above)
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350??F. Line an 8?? x 8?? x 2?? pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you??re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they??re brown around the edges ?? don??t be afraid to get a little color on them. They??ll still seem soft and almost underbaked in the center when you take them out but do not worry, they??ll set completely once they cool.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment ??sling?? to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way.)

Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it??s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.
*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut, walnuts, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried pples or even chocolate chips.

Blender Salsa

1 bunch Cilantro
2 Onions (red or white)
2 Jalapenos
4-6 cloves Garlic
3-12 Tomatoes (medium varieties vs. smaller Romas)
4 tablespoons Lime Juice or juice of 1-2 whole limes (fresh if possible)
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 can or large handful of diced pineapple


Cut all ingredients so they’ll fit in the blender or food processor. If using canned pineapple, add juice from can to the blender first to loosen up the ingredients. Don’t worry about seeding the peppers or stemming the cilantro. Add it to the blender.

Pulse till scoopable consistency, too watery and it will slide right off a chip. We prefer one that is silky yet has some sticking power (though you might like it differently).

Depending on the vegetables used, your mix might require a little more lime, salt or even pineapple, which cuts the heat for more tender mouths, making this a perfect salsa for a group of all sorts!

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour (or 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon All Purpose Flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk


Place a layer of parchment paper across the bottom and up 2 sides of an 8″x8″ pan. Preheat oven to 450?F degrees.

In a medium bowl (or bowl of food processor), mix together dry ingredients and stir with a whisk to combine.

Using a bench scraper or large knife, cut a frozen stick of butter down the middle length wise, letting the two pieces fall side by side. Next cut each of those pieces in half length wise, creating 4 equal(ish) sections. Next, cutting horizontally, make small cubes with your bench scraper, touching the butter as little as possible to remove it from the utensil. Add to bowl of food processor. (Note: If not using a food processor, use a box grater and shred your butter just like you would a block of cheese. Work quickly and refreeze if needed before continuing.)

Pulse food processor 8-10 times until meal is finely ground. Make sure unlock lid and tap inside the bowl to eliminate a counter covered with flour.

Pour flour and butter mixture into a separate bowl and add in buttermilk all at once. Using a spatula or fork, mix gently until most the dry mix has been incorporated. Dump out onto a floured surface and mold gently to form an 8×8(ish) square.

Using your bench scraper or long knife, cut quickly through the dough into 9 pieces (3 wide and 3 tall). They will transfer straight to the pan, but will be loose in doing so. That’s ok, as they bake they’ll come together!

If oven is not yet preheated, place in freezer until oven is to temperature. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden brown (emphasis on the golden). Remove from oven and using parchment paper, transfer to a non porous surface (or put down a few paper towels to catch and excess butter) to cool.
If you don’t often stock buttermilk in the house (not many do), you can sour regular milk with a little lemon juice, just allow a few extra minutes for it to take.

Basic Cream Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (divided)


Place a layer of parchment paper across the bottom and up 2 sides of an 8″x8″ pan. Preheat oven to 425?F degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients and stir with a whisk to combine.

Stir in all but 1/4 cup cream. Dump onto floured work surface and add remaining cream to the dry bits left in the bowl, scrape out and add to dough already on counter. Knead briefly (30 seconds) until dough comes together.

Shape dough into a long rectangle and cut in half length-wise and then cut each piece into 4 pieces horizontally (see picture above).

Place in oven on middle rack for 15-18 minutes until golden.
This recipe comes together super quick and because of its cream base, has the ability to hold extra add-ins if you so desire. A cup of shredded cheddar or some chives are nice, but no matter what, this biscuit is prime for a good slathering of butter fresh out of the oven!

5-Minute Ricotta

2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar or lemon juice


Line colander with four layers of cheesecloth or 2 layers of food-safe paper towels and set over large bowl. Combine milk, salt, and vinegar or lemon juice in microwave-safe glass 1-quart liquid measure. Microwave on high heat until lightly bubbling around edges, 2 to 4 minutes (milk should register about 165?F on an instant-read thermometer). Remove from microwave, and stir gently for 5 seconds. Milk should separate into solid white curds and translucent liquid whey. If not, microwave for 30 seconds longer. Repeat until fully separated.

Using slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer curds to prepared colander, cover exposed top with plastic wrap, and allow to drain until desired texture is reached. Store in covered container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Original Monkey Bread

Bread:
4 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (these are optional, it’s great with or without them)

Icing:
1/2 pound cream cheese
1/2 pound butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-10 inch tube pan.

Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Shake well.

Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.

Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate.

For icing:

Allow cream cheese and butter to get to
room temperature.

Beat butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with a mixer.

Slowly add in the pound of powdered sugar.

After all the powdered sugar is added mix for 12 minutes (do not mix less than that).

When almost done, add in the extract and lemon juice.

Monkey Bread from Scratch

Dough
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided (2 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted)
1 cup milk, warm (around 110 degrees)
1/3 cup water, warm (also around 110 degrees)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise, instant or bread machine yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons table salt

Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup packed light brown sugar (CI advises against dark brown, which they feel imparts too strong of a molasses taste; I suspect it wouldn?t bother me)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 ounces), mleted

Cream Cheese Glaze
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Dough
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided (2 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted)
1 cup milk, warm (around 110 degrees)
1/3 cup water, warm (also around 110 degrees)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise, instant or bread machine yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons table salt

Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup packed light brown sugar (CI advises against dark brown, which they feel imparts too strong of a molasses taste; I suspect it wouldn?t bother me)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 ounces), mleted

Cream Cheese Glaze
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Get oven and pan ready: Adjust oven rack to medium-low position and heat oven to 200?F. When oven reaches 200, turn it off. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.

Make dough: In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.

To proceed with a stand mixer, mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. (The dough should be sticky but if it is too wet to come together into anything cohesive, add an additional 2 tablespoons flour.) Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball.

To proceed by hand, mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in flour, then add milk mixture to well. Using wooden spoon, stir until dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating shaggy scraps back into dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into taut ball and proceed as directed.

Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray or a tablespoon of neutral oil. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with more cooking spray or oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

Make brown sugar coating: Place melted butter in one bowl. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a second one.

Form the bread: Flip dough out onto floured surface and gently pat into an 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces. I found it helpful to immediately separate them from the rest of the ?grid? or they quickly reformed a big doughy square in 64 parts.

Roll each piece of dough into ball. Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. (I found a fork to be helpful for this process.) Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering seams (something I didn?t do, but should have) where dough balls meet as you build layers.

Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.

Bake bread: Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350?F. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel might begin to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. (The reason for the ?might? is that CI says that it should, but mine did not bubble, leading me to bake mine for an extra 5 to 10 minutes, during which it still did not bubble but go the dark crust you see in the photos. Next time, I?d take it out sooner.) Cool in pan for 5 minutes (no longer, or you?ll have trouble getting it out) then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Make glaze: Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth and light. Add milk and vanilla and this is where you can kick me because I completely forgot I was a food blogger for a minute there and know I added a touch more milk and sugar but did not write down how much. I have some nerve! Just taste and adjust ? you?re looking for something that tastes equally tangy and sweet, and texturally thin enough to drape over the bread but thick enough that it will not just roll off completely.

Drizzle the glaze over warm monkey bread, letting it run over top and sides of bread. Serve warm.

Portuguese Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Wafers

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mild oil-cured black olives, rinsed quickly if particularly salty, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 375?F.

Stir together the flour, olives, sugar, baking powder, zest, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the oil and egg, pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix with your hands until the dough no longer looks dry and holds together when squeezed, 1 to 2 minutes.

Fill a small bowl with sugar and set nearby. Pinch off 1 rounded tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball, and coat it well with sugar. Place it in one corner of a sheet of parchment cut to fit your baking sheet, place another piece of parchment on top, and using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a 3 1/2 to 4-inch circle, a scant 1/16 inch thick. The edges will be ragged; that?s how they should be. Repeat with 5 more wafers on the same sheet. Lift off the top sheet and slip the parchment with cookies onto the baking sheet.

Bake until the wafers are edged with brown and pebbled on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide the parchment onto a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough. Once cooled, the wafers will keep in an airtight container for several days.

Basic Beurre Noisette

butter


Make the beurre noisette: put the butter in a medium saucepan (not too small, you want a reasonably large surface area), place over medium heat, and watch, swirling the pan every now and then to ensure an even heat distribution. First, the butter will melt. Then, bubbles will form at the surface as the butter simmers and its water content evaporates. The butter “sings” during that phase, emitting a pleasant chirping sound.

A few minutes later, the bubbles will get smaller, and the pitch of the chirping sound will get higher, then stop. At this point, the smell of the butter will change and become distinctly hazelnutty — you can’t miss it, it’s the best thing you’ve ever smelled, and the ambient scent of cr?peries in Brittany — as its color becomes bronze and little flecks of butter solids caramelize and turn golden brown at the bottom of the pan.

(Don’t let it cook beyond this stage, or the butter solids will get too dark, eventually burning and turning black and bitter and carcinogenic, in which case you’ll have to strain the brown butter through a fine sieve and sacrifice the flavorful caramelized bits.)

Spiced Brown Butter Crumble Topping

1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup hazelnut flour, or ground hazelnuts, or ground walnuts, or almond meal
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
the seeds from 1 pod green cardamom, finely crushed in a mortar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a fat pinch sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced


In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, from flour to salt, and set aside.

Make the beurre noisette: put the butter in a medium saucepan (not too small, you want a reasonably large surface area), place over medium heat, and watch, swirling the pan every now and then to ensure an even heat distribution. First, the butter will melt. Then, bubbles will form at the surface as the butter simmers and its water content evaporates. The butter “sings” during that phase, emitting a pleasant chirping sound.

A few minutes later, the bubbles will get smaller, and the pitch of the chirping sound will get higher, then stop. At this point, the smell of the butter will change and become distinctly hazelnutty — you can’t miss it, it’s the best thing you’ve ever smelled, and the ambient scent of cr?peries in Brittany — as its color becomes bronze and little flecks of butter solids caramelize and turn golden brown at the bottom of the pan.

(Don’t let it cook beyond this stage, or the butter solids will get too dark, eventually burning and turning black and bitter and carcinogenic, in which case you’ll have to strain the brown butter through a fine sieve and sacrifice the flavorful caramelized bits.)

Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into the dry ingredients. (Likewise, don’t leave the brown butter in the hot pan, or it will continue to cook; see consequences above. If you don’t use it right away as we do here, transfer it to a cool bowl to stop the cooking.)

Using a fork, incorporate the butter just until the mixture turns crumbly; don’t let it form a ball.

If not using immediately, spread on a rimmed cookie sheet and place it in the fridge for 1 hour before transferring to an airtight container (this is to avoid clumping), where it will keep for a few days.

If using immediately, sprinkle over fruit (a generous kilo or 2 1/2 pounds of apples, rhubarb, apricots, peaches, plums…) in a baking dish, and bake in an oven preheated to 190?C (375?F) for 35 to 50 minutes, depending on the type of fruit, until the topping is nicely browned and the fruit is cooked through, and bubbly, if it is a juicy kind of fruit.

Serve warm, with creme fraiche or whipped cream or Greek-style yogurt.

Clotilde’s Crumble Ratio

1/4 cup salted butter, diced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
3/4 cup oatmeal (instant or old-fashioned)
2/3 cup ground almonds (a.k.a. almond powder or almond meal)


In a food processor cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the oatmeal and ground almonds, and mix again until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. You can also rub it all in a mixing-bowl with your clean little fingers. (This will keep for a few days, tightly covered and refrigerated.)
Topping will become brown and crispy in about 40 minutes.

Cabbage with (Any) Hot Sauce

1/2 head green cabbage, quartered and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick ribbons
1/2 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
Canola oil, or another oil with a similarly high smoke point
1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. sambal oelek, to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste (optional)

For serving:
toast
fried egg


Place a wok over high heat. Let it heat thoroughly; it should even smell hot. Working quickly, pour in a glug of oil* and then immediately add the cabbage and the fennel, if using. Stir briefly to coat with oil, and then leave it alone for a minute or so, to allow the vegetables to begin to take on some color. Then add sambal oelek to taste, and stir again. (If you have a hood over your stove, turn on the fan! The hot sauce gives off spicy fumes.) Continue to cook until the vegetables are browned in spots and wilted. It won?t take long. Then add a glug of soy sauce, and stir well again. Taste, and season with more soy sauce or salt as needed.

Serve on toast with a fried egg

Variations are endless, but one is to use harissa instead of hot sauce and serve it on pita bread, toasted with olive oil until crunchy.

Pulled Pork in the Oven

1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 4 equal pieces
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 soft sandwich rolls, split
Store-bought barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in lower and upper positions. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Place pork in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot; rub with spice mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, and 1/2 cup water; pour over pork. Cover pot, and place in oven on lower rack. Bake until pork is very tender and separates easily when pulled with a fork, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer pork to a work surface, reserving pan juices. With two forks, shred meat. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with pan juices to moisten (you may not need all the juices). Pile pork on rolls, and top with barbecue sauce, if desired.

Slow-Cooked Brisket

3-4 pound beef brisket, ideally local and grass-raised
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 large onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce


Unfold the brisket and cut into two equal pieces that will fit in your saute skillet or cast iron pan. Film the skillet with oil, and heat over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the brisket. Sear until a golden brown crust appears on both sides of the meat. Remove and place in your slow cooker insert.

Add a little more olive oil to the pan and heat over low medium heat. Slice the onions into thin half moons and saute gently until they are soft and lightly caramelized. Add the minced garlic and cook until tender and fragrant. Add to the slow cooker insert, tucking under and around the meat.

Heat the broth to boiling and stir in the two sauces. Taste and adjust. Pour over the meat.

Cover and cook in the slow cooker on low heat for 6-8 hours or until the brisket falls apart. Or hurry it along like we are and cook on high for 5 hours. This runs the risk of a slightly tougher brisket.

Slow-Cooked Lemon Garlic Chicken

3-4 pound chicken (labeled fryer or roaster)

for the seasoning:
3 garlic cloves–minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 sprigs of thyme–leaves stripped and minced

for the poaching liquid:
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)–reserve the rinds
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth

1 whole lemon–quartered
1 head of garlic–cloves separated, but left in their individual skins
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary


Remove the bag of gizzards and discard (or reserve for stock). Wash the chicken thoroughly inside and out with warm water. Pat dry with paper towels.

For the seasoning: Mix all the seasoning ingredients together in a bowl. Using your fingers, gently slide your fingers between the meat and the skin, entering at either end. Without tearing the skin, separate the skin from the meat of the breast, thighs, and legs of the chicken. Grab a handful of the seasoning and rub half of the mixture between the skin and meat. If you get a good dollop under the skin, you can lay the skin back down and use your fingers to massage the outside of the skin and work the seasoning across the surface of the meat. Rub the remaining mixture inside the cavity of the chicken.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Pan-sear the chicken on all sides for 6-8 minutes until the outside is browned. Transfer the chicken to your slow cooker–breast side up.

For the poaching liquid: Combine lemon juice, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Put the pan used to sear the chicken back on medium-high heat, pour in half of the poaching liquid and let sit until just boiling. Use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Once the pan is deglazed, pour mixture over the chicken in the slow-cooker.

Put lemon rinds (reserved from squeezing the juice), one whole bouillon cube, and a few of the garlic cloves inside the cavity of the chicken. Arrange lemon quarters, the remaining garlic cloves, and the sprigs of thyme around the chicken toward the edges of the cooker. Crumble the other bouillon cube over the chicken and rub it into the skin.

Place the lid on the cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. (Note: This recipe is best when done on HIGH, but can also be done in 6-8 hours on LOW.)

Twenty to thirty minutes before the time is done, pour reserved lemon juice mixture over chicken and add the rosemary sprigs. (Rosemary tends to get bitter and antiseptic tasting if cooked the entire time in the slow-cooker.)

Remove chicken from the slow-cooker and allow it to rest on the carving board (or handy cookie sheet) for about 20 minutes. The meat actually continues cooking during this resting period and the juices will redistribute through the meat. When ready to serve, tear off the skin and discard. Use your fingers to pull off the legs–the bones should come apart with a gentle tug, but if they don’t, use a carving knife to wedge them apart. Keep using your fingers to work over the chicken, placing the meat on a serving platter and reserving the bones for another use (like home-made chicken broth!). Serve immediately!

Greek Braised Green Beans

1 pound green beans, washed and snapped in half
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Olive oil
1 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges


Wash and snap the green beans, then chop the onion and garlic. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy lidded pan and fry the onion and garlic gently over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft. Add the red pepper and tomatoes and fry for another five minutes, gently.

Add the green beans and wine. Add a little water if it seems too dry. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Stir in the cinnamon, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Wine Braised Cabbage

1 head green or Savoy cabbage
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Wine-Braised Cabbage
serves 4

1 head green or Savoy cabbage
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Take the outer leaves off the cabbage and rinse it. Cut it into quarters and core it, then slice each quarter into ribbons.

Heat the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When it has melted, add the garlic and cook until golden and soft. Add the cabbage and stir until the cabbage is coated in butter. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the cabbage is translucent and beginning to brown a little – about 5-8 minutes.

Add the wine and bring to a light boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve with fresh Parmesan. This keeps very well and even improves over a few days in the fridge.