August 2010

Eggs, Caviar and Yogurt

August 31, 2010

I know, it is an odd combination, yet somehow all three of those ingredients came together recently.

The boys were both diagnosed with dairy allergies a few years back, and after Jacob also turned up allergic to soy, I figured our days of eating yogurt were limited (which was a shame since that was where so many of our “extras”;ground almonds, flax seeds, probiotics, etc. were eaten).

Then coconut yogurt was introduced. Oh the joys and heartache of coconut yogurt. A joy because we finally had yogurt back in our lives, a heartache because of the staggering $2 for a 4 oz container.

After a lot of research, I finally have found a recipe that makes sense, is economical, and that we enjoy for making coconut yogurt at home. And last night I was gifted with the special “this is the best yogurt I ever tasted mama!” from my Elwood. It takes a full 29 hours to ferment, and a crazy precision to make sure that it turns out the way that it should (coconut milk does not contain the sugars of regular milk that are needed to ferment properly), but it is worth it in the end. As fast as the boys put this batch away, I am going to be keeping a very continuous cycle of yogurt going on the counter top in the years ahead.

Although we ate dessert before dinner, it was still a worthy meal to share. 

A few years back, my girlfriend Missy held a potluck in which her brother Travis cooked the most delicious lentil pasta I have ever tasted, and I made sure to snag the name of the recipe book it came from. Of course it was only a short while later that we found out that Jacob had celiac, and those recipes were put away for a later time.

With the amazing advances in gluten free pasta making, I am feeling more comfortable trying out the recipes that we once loved. At the farmers market this past weekend, I stumbled upon a gluten free pasta maker who had fresh papperdelle on her table. I swear I carried that small bag home like it was precious diamonds or rare rubies.

I chose papperdelle because there had always been a recipe in On Top of Spaghetti that I had been dying to try. Caviar, poached eggs, butter and Parmesan cheese. So simple, and yet so decadent.We had a jar of caviar that had come in last year’s holiday basket from my husband’s work, and this seemed like the perfect place to use it)

Pappardelle with Poached Eggs and Caviar
(from the book On Top of Spaghetti)


8 oz of pappardelle pasta
8 large eggs
4 Tbsp unsalted butter (I only had salted, so that is what we used)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesean cheese
1 heaping Tbsp of caviar (using cheap caviar is more than fine. I am pretty sure that what we had was about $8 from Safeway, and it still tasted perfect)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Fill a large straight sided saute pan with water and and bring to a gentle simmer for poaching the eggs. 
Add a generous amount of salt to the pasta pot and drop in the Pappardelle. Cook, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking.
At the same time, crack the eggs one by one into a saucer, gently letting each one slie into the simmering water in the saute pan before adding another. Poach the eggs until the whites have solidified but the yolks are still soft and runny. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked eggs to a warmed plate.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it in a colander reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the empty pan and toss with 2 tbsp. cooking water, the butter an grated cheese. The butter and cooking water will create an emulsion the consistency of heavy cream. Toss to coat every ribbon of pasta. It is seems too ry, add a few more tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Divide in individual bowls, and top with eggs and a heaping tablespoon of caviar and serve immediately.

I made only one addition to this meal, I plated the pasta on top of Parmesan roasted asparagus. A small bit of extra taste, and not necessary if you choose to leave it out, but we enjoyed the extra flavor and touch of crunch.

I have gone from not wanting to even be near my kitchen over the past few months, to not being able to stay out of it. I found myself yesterday standing in the book store with a copy of Home Cheese Making, a book I have coveted since I read Meryl’s post on making Lebneh. I do believe that will be the next culinary challenge I attempt. I have this vision of a group of girlfriends standing in my kitchen, eating home made bread, jamming the last of the summer fruit, and getting the cheese board out for making mozzarella, gouda and cheddar.

One can dream, right?

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To My Tastebuds with Love

August 30, 2010

The kitchen is the last place that I have wanted to be for the past thee months. I have no complaints, I will take whatever this little one dishes up, but the morning sickness has been strong and cooking is not something that I have been able to handle.

Over the past four days, however, I have started  to feel my taste buds coming back, and my stomach begin to churn for a home cooked meal by my own hands (thank you mama for helping to keep us fed over these last few months). For the first time all season, I ventured to the Farmer’s Market yesterday. All alone, I simply peered at all the goodness that most people have been enjoying for weeks, but that we are just now putting our hands to. The tomatoes, corn, melons, green beans, and peaches, plums and pears. It was a true feast for the senses. Although I only took home a small bag, I still felt giddy at the idea of cooking for my family.

A few weeks back, my friend Sheryl had a birthday party for her son Everest, who turned six. I was not up for eating, and I believe that the only thing I kept down was Sheryl’s incredible black bean gluten free chocolate cake (OK, it may not sound like a good combo, but it rocked!). However, my husband and children raved about the raw green bean dip that was served. Jacob and Joel love green beans, and normally just eat them raw as a snack. After picking up a basket at the market yesterday, I tried to recreate the dip that my husband described. Admittedly it was a bit hard, since the only thing Joel could identify were green beans and olive oil, but I did my best.

The result is quick, simple and perfect with bread, crackers or veggies. The sweeter the green bean the better!

Raw Green Bean Dip

Green Beans (I used about 60 beans, but simply adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly to use less or more)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Pinch of Kosher Salt
Pinch of Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (to taste)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined and the green beans are chopped into fine pieces.

Serve with fresh bread, crackers, and veggies.

Perhaps my most prized possession yesterday was the bag of fresh ripe Colorado peaches that were perfectly juicy and ready to eat.

There is nothing of Summer that I love more than fresh fruit. Fruit pies, breads, cobblers, crisps, and eaten plain are just a few of  my favorite ways to enjoy summer fruit.

Selecting the perfect peach and a gathering or fresh raspberries, I set out to create a peach pound cake for the boys and I. This recipe really was a bit of a test, but I like the texture of the pound cake set against the tartness of the raspberry glaze. It was a good way to introduce the little one inside me to the joys of summer fruit.

Peach Pound Cake with Raspberry Glaze

For the Cake:
1 cup of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup Honey
1 Cup of brown rice flour
1/2 cup of white rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (GF)
4 eggs
The puree of one peach

For the glaze
1 Tbsp heavy cream (if you are allergic to dairy, you can use almond, soy or coconut milk easily)
12 raspberries
3/4 cup of powdered sugar

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease your loaf pan. Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined (this can be down in a free standing mixer, in a food processor, or by hand).

Pour the batter into your loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes (since there is peace puree and honey, this cake tends to be moist. You can use a tooth pick to test for readiness, as well as placing a finger in the center to make sure that the cake bounces back when ready). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

To make the glaze: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or by hand (you really want the raspberries to be pureed) and combine. Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. While still warm, drizzle the glaze on the top and sides of your pound cake, and allow to cool completely.

Please note that this glaze in not the traditional type that will harden after cooling.

It may not be much, but eating these two dishes yesterday felt like pure heaven.

What are you eating that is bringing you joy today?

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