Smokey Sweet Potato Bánh Mì 

For the Smokey Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons high heat oil for roasting

salt, pepper and pepper flakes

dash of liquid smoke

For the Quick Pickle Carrots

3 carrots

4 radishes

1 cup water

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup white vinegar

For the Miso Mayo

2 tablespoons mayonaise

1 tablespoon white miso

1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce

 Sandwich Assembly 

1 baguette

1 jalapeño

cilantro

peanuts

lime

Directions

Start by making the quick pickle. Cut carrots and radishes into matchsticks. Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil. Let cool for a minute. Pour liquid over the carrots and radishes into a clean jar with a lid. Cover and chill.

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes. Toss with spices, high heat oil and dash of liquid smoke. Bake in preheated oven at 400F for 10 to 15 minutes – or longer, until tender.

To make the miso mayo just mix up the ingredients, yay and yum!

Assemble sandwich as shown. Top with peanuts, cilantro and fresh squeeze of lime.

Spring Garlic & Radish Top Soup

serves 4

If you can’t find/don’t want to use radish greens, a good replacement could be dandelion greens, mustard greens or arugula - or a mixture of these that totals the amount i indicate below.  additionally, if you can’t find spring garlic, regular garlic will totally work, just reduce the amount to 2 small cloves worth.  i added millet here just for more substance and weight - feel free to add quinoa, rice or any other grain you like.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bunches radish top greens (approx. 2.5 ounces), washed and stems trimmed
  • 1 bunch spring garlic, white parts chopped in half-inch pieces (alternatively, 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped), reserve green parts for garnish
  • 1 medium waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into quarters, about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups filtered water or vegetable stock

GARNISH

  • cooked millet
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • radish sprouts
  • sliced garlic greens
  • radishes, sliced thin

INSTRUCTIONS


  • heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.  add the onion slices and lay them flat; sprinkle garlic evenly over onion, then lay potato slices over them.  cook for about 3 minutes without disturbing while the pan heats up.  add the crushed cumin and give it all a good stir. cover, and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring the vegetables every so often (the bottom of the pan should start acquiring a brown glaze - this is good!). in the last few minutes, add the wine and let about half of it cook off.  next, add water (or stock) and 1 1/2-2 teaspoons salt, bring to a boil - scraping the bottom to loosen the glaze.  lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender and falling apart - 15-20 minutes
  • add radish tops to the pot  and cook for about 5 minutes - until wilted and dark green.  let soup cool.  then transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and puree
  • divide the soup evenly, and garnish with cooked millet, radish sprouts, garlic greens, sliced radishes and a squeeze of lemon juice

Honey Rosemary Cheese with Figs

  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 large probiotic capsules (or one teaspoon probiotic powder)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice from
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped fine and divided in half
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Himalayan salt and cracked pepper to taste

1. Place soaked macadamia nuts and water in high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Stir in probiotic powder and lemon juice.

2. Line sieve with cheesecloth. Pour in nut mixture, fold cheesecloth over the top and set on a plate.

3. Leave out to culture for 24 hours.

4. Transfer to bowl and stir in half the rosemary, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Remove 1/2 cup and set the rest aside.

5. To the 1/2 cup, stir in the remaining rosemary, honey and shallot. Mix well.

6. In a 3 1/2-inch baker’s ring, layer 2/3 of the main mixture, the shallot mixture, then the remaining 1/3 of the main mixture. 
7. Place in refrigerator to set for a few hours. 

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 cup good quality, aged raw balsamic vinegar  (most balsamic is not raw…check your sources)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (not vegan, you can substitute agave nectar)

1. Place one cup of the balsamic vinegar in a shallow glass dish in the dehydrator. Dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight or until reduced to 1/3 cup. 

2. Stir in honey. 

Assembly

  • Fresh Figs, quartered
  • “Cheese”
  • Rosemary Almond Crackers (recipe will be posted later this week)
  • Balsamic Reduction

1. Spread “cheese” on crackers, top with fig and a drizzle of  Balsamic Reduction. 

Champagne Flip

yields 1

Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 ounces champagne/sparkling wine
  2. 1 ounce Fernet-Branca
  3. 1 ounce ginger liqueur
  4. 1 egg white
  5. 1/2 ounce Meyer lemon juice
  6. A couple dashes aromatic bitters
  7. Lemon and mint, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Pour the champagne into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass.
  2. In a shaker, combine the Fernet, ginger liqueur, egg white, lemon juice, and bitters. Shake. Add a handful of ice and shake again, vigorously, for a minute or so. Strain into your glass and garnish.

Coffee with Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Yields about 12 pieces

1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, room temperature 
1/2 cup (110 grams) granulated sugar 
2 large eggs 
1 tablespoon molasses, optional 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup (130 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1/4 cup (40 grams) candied ginger, chopped into small pieces 
3 ounces (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, melted (for coating)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the molasses and vanilla extract. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until uniform. Stir in the chocolate chips and candied ginger. The dough will be sticky.

On a floured surface, form dough into a log 12-inches long by 3-inches wide and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough cracks on top and just begins to brown. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for ten minutes, or until the dough is cool enough handle. Using a serrated knife, cut the log into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices cut side down onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the biscotti slices are lightly browned for a softer texture. For a crunchier texture, flip the biscotti over and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Cool biscotti to room temperature before dipping.

In a small rectangular container (large enough to fit the biscotti), melt the remaining 3 ounces of chocolate until smooth. Dip the slices, shake off excess chocolate, and place the slices onto a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper to dry.

Coffee and Gingerbread Cake with Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting
Makes 1, 8inch round cake. 
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground, dried ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350*F, grease an 8inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. Set aside.
Melt butter–in a saucepan or microwave. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk  eggs, molasses, sugar, vanilla, and ginger. Whisk in the cooled butter, mix well to combine.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined and there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool one a rack for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely. Can be stored wrapped well in plastic for 3 days.

Lemon-Ginger Curd
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 egg yolks
1 egg
pinch of salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Combine everything in a saucepan and whisk to break up eggs. Whisk over medium-low heat, until butter is melted and everything is well combined. Continue to whisk over med-low heat until the curd has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Curd will thicken a bit as it cools. Scrape the curd into a mesh sieve over a bowl, press the curd through the sieve. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd. Cool to room temperature and then cool in the refrigerator until ready to use. Can be stored, covered well in the refrigerator, for about 1 week. 
Seven Minute Frosting
This frosting is best the day it is made. 
2 large egg whites
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a heatproof mixing or mixer bowl, set over a pan of simmering water and whisk quickly and continuously until the mixture begins to get light in color, foamy, no longer has any sugar granules when rubbed between two fingers, and is just hot to the touch. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment for about 6-7 minutes or until the frosting is bright white, light, and holds a stiff peak.
To Assemble:
For the Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting, take about 1/3 of the Seven Minute Frosting and whisk it with 4 Tablespoons of lemon curd. Fold the frosting/curd mixture into the remaining Seven Minute Frosting.
When I next make this cake, I will definitely not cut it into layers. Cut your cake into layers, if desired, and create a dam using the Lemon Cloud Frosting about 1/4 inch from the edge of the cake using a piping bag. Fill the center with lemon curd. Top with second layer, chill to set up. Since, I am not going to do this layer thing again, I would do the same thing with the frosting dam and curd, but on top of the cake. Then, cover the top with the remaining Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting. It’s pretty messy, but this cake is best at room temperature. It would be nice to frost it just before serving.

Coffee and Gingerbread Cake with Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting

Makes 1, 8inch round cake. 

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp.

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground, dried ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350*F, grease an 8inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment. Set aside.

Melt butter–in a saucepan or microwave. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk  eggs, molasses, sugar, vanilla, and ginger. Whisk in the cooled butter, mix well to combine.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined and there are no longer any dry streaks of flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool one a rack for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely. Can be stored wrapped well in plastic for 3 days.

Lemon-Ginger Curd

1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/4 cups sugar

6 egg yolks

1 egg

pinch of salt

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine everything in a saucepan and whisk to break up eggs. Whisk over medium-low heat, until butter is melted and everything is well combined. Continue to whisk over med-low heat until the curd has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Curd will thicken a bit as it cools. Scrape the curd into a mesh sieve over a bowl, press the curd through the sieve. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd. Cool to room temperature and then cool in the refrigerator until ready to use. Can be stored, covered well in the refrigerator, for about 1 week. 

Seven Minute Frosting

This frosting is best the day it is made. 

2 large egg whites

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a heatproof mixing or mixer bowl, set over a pan of simmering water and whisk quickly and continuously until the mixture begins to get light in color, foamy, no longer has any sugar granules when rubbed between two fingers, and is just hot to the touch. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment for about 6-7 minutes or until the frosting is bright white, light, and holds a stiff peak.

To Assemble:

For the Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting, take about 1/3 of the Seven Minute Frosting and whisk it with 4 Tablespoons of lemon curd. Fold the frosting/curd mixture into the remaining Seven Minute Frosting.

When I next make this cake, I will definitely not cut it into layers. Cut your cake into layers, if desired, and create a dam using the Lemon Cloud Frosting about 1/4 inch from the edge of the cake using a piping bag. Fill the center with lemon curd. Top with second layer, chill to set up. Since, I am not going to do this layer thing again, I would do the same thing with the frosting dam and curd, but on top of the cake. Then, cover the top with the remaining Lemon-Ginger Cloud Frosting. It’s pretty messy, but this cake is best at room temperature. It would be nice to frost it just before serving.

  1. Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS
  2. Aperture: f/3.5
  3. Exposure: 1/320th
  4. Focal Length: 78mm

Sunday Night Portobello Mushroom Soup with Gruyere & Onion Jam Toasties

50g butter

1 red onion, peeled and toughly chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 big fat garlic cloves, crushed

600g Portobello mushrooms (or a mix of your favourites), sliced

5 sprigs thyme + 1 sprig lemon thyme (optional)

2 bay leaves

4 1/2 cups good quality chicken stock (homemade if you have it)

1/2 cup cream plus 3 tbsp extra

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tbsp sherry

4 small brown mushrooms extra, thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup microgreens

Toasties:

8 slices good quality wholegrain bread

150g Gruyere cheese, grated

1 1/2 cups caramelised onions / Onion jam

3 tbsp butter

Heat the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan and cook onions with sea salt and pepper over a medium/gentle heat for 10 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme and bay leaves. Cook for a further 15 minutes over a medium heat, stirring every few minutes until mushrooms are pretty well cooked. Add stock, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for half an hour. Add cream, milk and sherry and cook a further 2 minutes. Take off the heat, remove thyme stalks (the leaves will have all dropped off) and bay leaves. transfer to a food processor and whiz until combined. When ready to serve taste for seasoning, then in a small fry pan cook extra small mushrooms in olive oil over a medium heat for about 3-4 minutes or until almost crispy. Drizzle with a little extra cream, garnish with mushrooms and optional micro greens and serve with Gruyere and caramelised onion toasties. Serves 4
While soup is heating heat too large fry pans. Butter bread and put 4 slices in (2 in each pan), buttered-side down. Top with evenly divided caramelised onions and Gruyere cheese, and finally the extra bread slices. Butter the bread tops while they are in the pan, and when toasties are golden on the bottom, carefully flip and cook the other side - about 5-6 minutes all up. Deliciousness.

Not Yet Summer Greek Salad

It feels a bit silly to write out a recipe for this salad.  It’s mostly just handfuls of pasta, chopped tomatoes, cucumber and feta.  Where you see cups in the recipe below, feel free to just eyeball it and toss ingredients in by the handful. It’s more fun that way, really!

For the Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced shallots

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For the Pasta Salad:

5 cups cooked orzo pasta

2 cups de-seeded and coarsely chopped English Cucumbers

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 heaping cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup thinly sliced purple onion

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

I like to make my salad dressings in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.  If you don’t have a jar, you can also vigorously whisk the mixture in a large bowl.

In a medium mason jar combine olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt a fresh cracked black pepper.  Secure the lid tightly and shake vigorously until emulsified.  Taste and season with more lemon, honey, salt, or pepper as necessary.  Set aside.

In a large bowl toss together orzo pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, onion, and fresh basil.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Just before serving, drizzle in the dressing. Taste and season accordingly.  Serve immediately.  

Bloody Orange Sunrise

Makes: 1
Ingredients
  • 8 tbsp. (120ml) fresh blood orange juice
  • 4 tsp. (2cl) ouzo
  • 4 tsp. (2cl) vodka
  • 2 tsp. (1cl) rum
  • 1 tsp. fructose
  • ½ tsp. raspberry juice
  • ½ tsp. chopped spicy green chili pepper (e.g. jalapeno)
  • 4 drops Angostura bitters
  • 2 tsp. green olives brine
Instructions
  1. In a tall glass, mix the orange juice with the liquors.
  2. Place the chopped green chili pepper in a mortar, add 2 teaspoons of the liquors, mix it up using the pestle.
  3. Pour the pepper into the orange juice mix, and then add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Stir using a spoon. Pour through a strainer over 2-3 ice cubes in a chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with blood orange segments and fresh cilantro leaves.

Tartlets with Mascarpone, Almonds & Rum (by Patrizia Miceli - Via delle rose)

recipe here

Swedish Chocolate & Mocha Biscuits

makes 16 small biscuits

2 egg whites
4 tbsp maple syrup or honey
100 g / 3/4 cup / 180 ml almond flour
50 g / ½ cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened

Mocha buttercream
100 g organic butter, room tempered
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 tbsp strong coffee of choice, optional
4 tbsp cacao powder

150 g / 5 oz dark quality chocolate

Preparing the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 360°F/180°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Whisk egg whites and maple syrup vigorously in a medium size bowl for about a minute. Add almond flour and desiccated coconut and stir until well combined. Use your hands to shape small balls, about half the size of a golf ball. Be aware that the dough is quite loose to work with. Place them on the baking paper and flatten them out a bit, they should roughly have the size and shape of a French macaroon, about 2 inches wide. You can also make them larger, if you prefer bigger biscuits. Bake for about 8-10 minutes and then leave to cool completely. Meanwhile prepare the mocha buttercream.

Preparing the buttercream: It’s easiest to prepare the buttercream using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, but a balloon whisk and a strong arm works as well. Whisk egg yolks vigorously in a large bowl until frothy. Cut the butter into small lumps and gradually add them together with maple syrup and coffee, while whisking. The buttercream might look curdled at one point, but just keep whisking and it will smoothen out. Sift the cacao into the buttercream and whisk until well combined. If it has become too soft, you can leave it in the fridge for a while to firm up.

Assembling: Turn the cooled biscuits upside-down. Spread about a two teaspoons buttercream onto the flat base of each biscuit and use a knife or a pallet knife to shape the cream into cones. You can also use a pastry bag to pipe the buttercream onto the biscuits. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes in the fridge. Chop the chocolate and melt it over a water bath/double boiler. Take it off and leave for a minute or so to cool down slightly. Hold the base of the biscuit between your finger tips and dip the cone into the chocolate. Twist and shake off any excess chocolate before putting it down. Repeat with the remaining biscuits. Can be served immediately, kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen and saved.

Grapefruit Cucumber Gin Cocktails

makes 2 cocktails

lots of ice

2 to 4 ounces gin, depending on how strong you’d like your cocktail

1 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice

1 cup ginger ale soda

fresh grapefruit wedges

fresh cucumber slices

Divide ice between two tall drinking glasses. 

Add gin:  as much as you’d like depending on how strong you’d like your drink. 

Divide the grapefruit juice between the two glasses. 

Top with ginger ale. 

Garnish with grapefruit wedges and cucumber slices. 

Throw some straws in there, cheers, drink up! 

Thyme & Parmesan Popovers

(for 9 popovers)

1 cup lukewarm milk

2 large eggs

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme

Preheat oven to 450ºF (make sure that the oven rack is in the center). Brush the muffin pan with melted butter (if you use parchment paper as liners, there’s no need to brush with butter). Once the oven is fully heated, put the muffin pan in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Whisk the eggs until pale then add the milk, melted butter, flour and salt and blend the mixture. Add the herbs and cheese and blend well.
Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter evenly among the muffin holes. Turn the oven down to 400ºF and bake the popovers for 30-35 minutes, until they are puffed and golden brown colour.

Crème Chocolat

Small pots of chocolate cream and chai spices 
6 jars of approximately 125 ml 

Ingredients

3  medium eggs
4 c. tablespoons sugar  
500 ml milk 
2 tbsp. of cinnamon powder 
¼ tsp. coffee ginger 
2 cloves 
1 pinch nutmeg
4 c. tablespoons of cocoa powder 100% 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 150 ° C.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the  eggs  with the sugar and set aside. 
  3. In a saucepan, heat the milk without making it  boil  and add spices: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Let steep for 10 minutes and remove the cloves. Add cocoa powder and mix well with a whisk until there are no more lumps. 
  4. Pour the milk over the  eggs  and mix well with a whisk. Remove the foam with a slotted spoon if  necessary .
  5. Spoon into small pots and place the pots in a deep baking dish. Pour into hot water in the pan until 2/3 level pots. 
  6. Bake 45 minutes at 150 ° C, or until the custards are firm in the centre. 

Blackberry Irish Whiskey Sour

Ingredients

1-1/2 ounce Irish Whiskey

3/4 ounce Blackberry Brandy

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1 lemon slice

1 blackberry

granulated sugar

crushed ice

Instructions

Add several tablespoons of sugar to a shallow plate or dish

Rub lemon along the outside only of the rim of your glass to wet

Immediately roll this wet part of the glass in the sugar to coat the rim - set aside

In your shaker - fill 1/2 full with ice

Add whiskey, brandy & lemon juice - shake well

Strain into prepared glass

Garnish with lemon twist & blackberry