Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 from 2010

This is for me and you both. I wanted to narrow down some new favorites, recipes I have added to my repertoire this year and will be making again. For me that is kind of a big thing. I have recipe wanderlust. It explains the stacks of cooking magazines I have read and the dozens of cookbooks I own, it is a wee bit of an addiction. So, me to so embrace a recipe this much and add it to my rotation- it really is something good, and I am totally won over. I hope you give these a go as well.

Here is my top ten of 2010:

Quick and Easy White Bean Salad
photo by Elise Bauer
1.White Bean Salad. So, so easy to toss together. You can make it ahead of time and let the flavors meld or even freeze it. I like it hot, I like it warm, and I like it cold. It travels well, too. This salad is fantastic.

2. Swiss Chard Tart with Goat Cheese and Golden Raisins. I love the flavor combinations in this dish. Beautiful presentation. An impressive dish.

3. Scalloped Tomatoes. Apparently tomatoes like to be scalloped too. This exactly what you need to do when summer is upon you and you have a glut of beautiful tomatoes and you have had enough sandwiches.

4. Caramelized Onion Quiche. I think that if you like French onion soup, this is your quiche. It is superb. The sort of thing that makes you believe that quiche wasn't just intended to be a vehicle for bacon.

5. Warm Cabbage Pasta or Salad. Thank you, Erin, for bringing this recipe into my life. This such a good pasta, that my mother ate all the leftovers I had packed to eat on the plane hours later when I arrived in Texas. Yes, Mom, you've been called out. 

6. Zucchini Crostini. Sounds cute, tastes fantastic. But I will warn you. Do not make this with old zucchini, it will taste old. This is recipe will be as good as your zucchini is. And to me this summer, it tasted like a revelation.

7. Kale Chips. So simple. So satisfying and crisp. The perfect snack.

8. Pineapple with Mint Sugar. Really fun to make and really delicious alone or as an accompaniment to something else.

9. Boiled Cider Syrup. I honestly think this is what heaven smells like in autumn. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I won't care. I am too busy looking for more ways to use this liquid gold. This may be the best hostess/host gift ever and my favorite food picture I took all year (and with the aging point and shoot- since Justin had the fancy pants camera for the day).

10. Focaccia with Grapes and Rosemary or Pears and Ricotta. This one is new to the blog. I have been happily making this one for three months now and neglected to share it. This fabulous food and I highly recommend both versions, but have only photographed the pear.

adapted from Claudia Fleming's Last Course

¾ cup (177 ml) warm water (105° to 110°F)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk, slightly warmed
1 ½ teaspoons (6 grams) sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons (5 grams) active dry yeast
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
5 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil
1 ½ cups halved Concord, red or black grapes, seeded or 1 cup of raisins soaked in warm water for at least 10 minutes and then drained
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary needles
2 tablespoons (8 grams) raw or another coarse sugar
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the water, milk, sugar, and yeast. Let the mixture sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the yeast mixture and mix well on low. Attach the dough hook, raise the speed to medium-low and knead the dough for 8 minutes longer. Or knead by hand until you’ve reached the desired texture.
Brush a large bowl with a generous amount of olive oil. Scrape dough into the bowl and brush the top with additional oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a cool place until it doubles in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours. (I like to work ahead of time and put it at the fridge for several hours at this point, and then when you are ready, put it out and allow the dough to come up to temperature and proceed- it will rise in the fridge, just really slowly.)
Press the dough down with a floured hand. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into two balls. Brush a large baking sheet (or two small ones) with olive oil, place the balls of dough on it and brush the top with more oil. Set it aside for 20 minutes, lightly covered with a kitchen towel. After 20 minutes, dip your fingers in olive oil and press and stretch each ball of dough into a 8 to 9-inch circle-ish shape or one giant sized rectangle/ oval to fit on a large baking sheet. It will be dimpled from your fingers. Cover again with the towel and let it rise for another 1 ¼ hours in a cool place.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush tops of dough with remaining olive oil and top the sprinkle grapes, rosemary, coarse sugar and coarse sea salt evenly over the dough. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and puffed around edges. Let cool before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Alternately, here is the other thing I did with this dough since I had entirely to many pears, pear butter and ricotta in the fridge, this was bound to happen.

Top dough with 3/4 cup of pear butter and dot with ¾ cup of ricotta cheese, and smooth it out. Slice two pears and arrange on top into whatever pattern strikes your fancy. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon coarse sugar and 1 teaspoon sea salt.  

What is your favorite new recipe this year?


  1. Thank you for sharing such great recipes! I read every post you make and love them. I made your boiled cider syrup and it was wonderful! I can't wait for this fall when I will make a bunch more. I look forward to trying all these new recipes. 2011 will be wonderful with good food!

  2. Hey I don't apologize for eating all of your leftover cabbage and pasta dish, it was delicious. I would do it again.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.