Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

From the wonderful blog You must read her blog as she is very convincing and funny about needing another chocolate chip cookie recipe! This is a winner and delicious!
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar (aka Sugar in the Raw; you can use more brown or white if you don’t have this, but the subtle crunch it adds is delightful)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (165 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon (or, technically, 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (225 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, cut into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife
Flaky sea salt, to finish

Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.
Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon (I used a #40 scoop) mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet out of the for 5 minutes before transferring a cooling rack.

Avgolemono Soup

This is a Greek lemon, rice and egg soup that is so comforting. You probably already have the ingredients and it comes together in 20 minutes. I used rice but will try orzo next time I make it.
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup uncooked orzo (or rice or pastina)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.
Add the orzo, rice, or pastina and cook until tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes (20, if using rice). Season with the salt and pepper and reduce heat to low; simmer.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice until smooth.
Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-and-lemon mixture, then whisk to combine.
Add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan. Stir just until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.

Ultimate Chocolate Brownie

After reading this article in the WSJ, I was hooked. I ordered the Belgian chocolate mentioned in the article from Amazon and made the brownies. I used a half sheet pan that is a tad larger than the measurements the recipe called for but needed the extra room. I had never made a brownie recipe quite like this where you add the eggs at the very end. My brownies overflowed a little but the taste is over the top.
Vegetable oil spray
2 cups cake flour
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
12 ounces dark chocolate, preferably Belcolade 60% cacao, coarsely chopped
2 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ¾ cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of a 12-by-16-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom with parchment paper, then spray parchment.
Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk eggs, vanilla and salt until combined.
Set a metal bowl over a pot to create a double boiler. Add enough water to pot to reach just below bottom of bowl. Heat water in double boiler to a steady simmer. Place chocolate and butter in bowl of double boiler, and cook, stirring to prevent chocolate from burning, until melted. (Alternatively, microwave them together in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted.) Whisk chocolate and butter briskly until combined.
Place sugar in a large bowl, then pour melted chocolate mixture over top. Whisk to combine. Add half of flour mixture to chocolate, whisking gently. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Add egg mixture to bowl. Use a rubber spatula to carefully fold all ingredients together, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until combined.
Pour batter into prepared sheet pan. If there are streaks of egg visible on top of batter, use spatula to smooth them into batter using a circular motion. Smooth top with a small offset spatula or a rubber spatula.
Bake brownies until batter has risen a bit, crust is even and slightly bubbling, and edges are starting to dry out and break, 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan, on a wire rack, before serving.

Perfect Peach Pie

This is a wonderful recipe from the NY Times, that is absolutely perfect as the title states! I did not use all of the liquid in the pie crust, but I should have.
perfect-peach-pie I only used half of the amount of sugar as I knew I would be serving it with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream!
2 ½ cups or 300 grams all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons or 169 grams unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Yolk of 1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
¼ cup water, from 3/4 cup ice water
White of 1 egg, beaten
Pinch granulated sugar
6 or 7 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced, approximately 5 cups
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup or 30 grams all-purpose flour
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Make the pie dough. Using your fingertips or the pulse function of a food processor, blend together the flour, butter and salt until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. There should be pebbles of butter throughout the mixture.
Add egg yolk and vinegar to 1/4 cup ice water, and stir to combine. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of this mixture over the dough, and gently stir or pulse to combine. Gather a golf-ball-size bit of dough, and squeeze to combine. If it does not hold together, add a little more of the liquid, and stir or pulse, then check again. Repeat as necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gather together into a rough ball. Divide the ball in half with a knife or a pastry scraper, then divide each portion in half again, and again, to create 8 portions. Using the heel of your hand, flatten each portion of dough once or twice to expand the pebbles of butter, then gather the dough together again in one ball. Divide this ball in half.
Flatten each ball into a 5- or 6-inch disc, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425. Make the pie filling: Combine sliced peaches, lemon juice, sugar and flour in a large bowl, and gently mix to combine. Set aside.
Take the larger of the pastry discs out of the refrigerator, roll it out on a lightly floured surface and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Add the peaches. Sprinkle them with the ground nutmeg.
Roll out second disc of pastry. Place on top of filling. Wet edges of the bottom pastry disc with some cold water. Trim pastry, pinch bottom and top edges together and cut a few slits to allow steam to escape from the pie. Brush the egg white on the top, particularly around the edges, and sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375. Cook until peaches bubble and pastry is golden, approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

Herbed Pork Tenderloin

A super easy recipe that is full of flavor-I only make one pork tenderloin at a time and adjust the recipe. The marinade is so full of flavor! I also like that Ina cuts the tenderloin in 1/4″ slices. Foolproof and absolutely delicious! She served it with a Greek Panzanella Salad and a Fruit Crumble for dessert!
Herb pork tender
1 lemon, zest grated
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it’s just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

Easy Caponata

From David Leibowitz’s blog-one of my favorite end of the summer dishes!
Caponata is meant to be a touch sweet, a tad vinegary. I added more than Fabrizia but since vinegars can vary in strength, you can taste and add more later in the game. The original recipe made quite a bit of caponata and and I reduced the recipe by half. (Some might say you can never have enough caponata, but because of the concentrated flavors, a little goes a long way.) It keeps very well in the refrigerator, so if you wish you can double the recipe.
Easy caponata
3 branches celery (tough outer strings removed, if necessary)
Vegetable oil (or olive oil), about 1 cup (250ml), for frying
1 pound (450g) eggplant
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (60g) green olives, pitted and very coarsely chopped (about in thirds)
2 tablespoons (30g) capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225ml) best-quality tomato sauce
3 tablespoons (40ml) wine vinegar, red or white
1/2 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Chopped flat-leaf parsley or mint, for serving
1. Remove the leaves from the celery branches and cut the branches into 1/2-inch (1,25cm) thick slices. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a low boil and simmer the celery until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse well in cold water. Set aside.

2. Trim the stems off eggplant and cut into 1-inch (3cm) pieces.

3. In a large, heavy-duty skillet (I used cast iron) heat 3/4-inch (2cm) of vegetable or olive oil. Cook the eggplant in batches, not crowding too many into the pan at once, turning them occasionally, until they are browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with salt, then fry the rest of the eggplant in batches, seasoning them with salt as you remove them from the oil. You’ll likely need to add more oil to the pan as you go. (I ended up using a total of 1 cup/250ml.)

4. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until wilted and starting to turn golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the parboiled celery, olives, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes. Let come to a low boil then add the eggplant.

5. Cook the mixture at a simmer, stirring carefully so as not to mash up the eggplant pieces, for 3 to 4 minutes. Taste, and add additional salt if desired, and perhaps another splash of vinegar. Remove from heat and transfer the caponata to a large, shallow serving platter or bowl and cool.

Serving and storage: Caponata is best served the next day, so the ingredients and flavors have time to meld. Top with chopped flat leaf parsley or fresh mint. It also makes a nice topping for crostini: Pile it atop grilled bread that’s been brushed with olive oil before grilling,

Ina’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

My friend Flo made this a few weeks ago and raved about it. I made vegetable lasagna today in anticipation of a much awaited cold front and it is wonderful. I used zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and basil from my garden. I only used one 32 oz. jar of marinara sauce as I roasted some cherry tomatoes and garlic that I had on hand and pureed it to add to the marinara. I think the herb goat cheese makes a wonderful addition to the ricotta but I would substitute if you have kids that don’t like goat cheese. I love that you can make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze. I think this and a salad would serve a party of 12-14 easily.
Ina's vegetable lasagna
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
3/4 pound zucchini, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
2/3 cup good olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
10 ounces lasagna noodles, such as De Cecco
16 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta
8 ounces creamy garlic-and-herb goat cheese, at room temperature
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 1/2 cups good bottled marinara sauce, such as Rao’s (40 ounces)
1 pound lightly salted fresh mozzarella, very thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange the eggplant and zucchini in single layers on 3 sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Brush them generously with the olive oil on both sides, using all of the oil. Sprinkle with the oregano (I crush it in my hands), 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, sprinkle the garlic evenly on the vegetables, and roast for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, fill a very large bowl with the hottest tap water and add enough boiling water to bring the temperature to 140°F. One at a time, place the noodles in the water and soak them for 15 minutes, swirling occasionally so they don’t stick together. Drain and slide the noodles around again.

Combine the ricotta, goat cheese, eggs, basil, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed.

Spread 1 cup of the marinara in a 9×13×2-inch baking dish. Arrange a third of the vegetables on top, then a layer of the noodles (cut to fit), a third of the mozzarella, and a third of the ricotta mixture in large dollops between the mozzarella. Repeat twice, starting with the marinara. Spread the last 1 1/2 cups of marinara on top and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan.

Place the dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the lasagna is browned and bubbly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve hot.

Make-Ahead Notes
Assemble the lasagna completely and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost (if necessary) and bake before dinner.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

From Smitten Kitchen’s wonderful blog and these could not be easier or more delicious! I am so excited about this recipe as I have a zucchini and yellow squash in my garden that is really producing.
Zucchini parmesan Crisps
Olive oil or cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 to 2 egg whites
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs, such as panko
A couple pinches sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat two baking sheets lightly with cooking spray or thinly with olive oil. Slice zucchini into slightly-less-than 1/4-inch thick rounds; if they feel especially wet, spread them on a towel while you prepare the other ingredients. In a small bowl, lightly beat first egg white with 1 teaspoon water to loosen it. Combine cheese, crumbs, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Dip each zucchini coin in egg white, letting excess run off before gently dipping them in parmesan mixture. Arrange in single layer on baking sheets. If additional egg white is needed, prepare it the same way, with 1 teaspoon of water. If additional crumb mixture is needed, make a few spoonfuls at a time, matching the volume of crumbs and cheese.

Bake zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping each over halfway through. Please keep an eye on them; they may need to be moved around on the tray so the ones at the edges don’t bake more quickly than the ones in the center. Take them out only when they’re golden all over and let them cool on the tray on a cooling rack or a plate.

Keep at room temperature until needed. Crisps are best on the first day.

Hazelnut, peach and raspberry cake

A delightful cake from Yotam Ottolenghi. I updated the metric weights to our weights. I only used 6 oz. of raspberries and I mixed all of them with the peaches.** I cooked the cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the center was set. I did not find the need to cover the cake with foil while it baked. This cake is at its best when slightly warm; that said, it will keep for a day, but not much longer. Serves 10.
Peach and Raspberry Cake

2 tsp sunflower oil
2 large peaches, peeled and stoned and cut into 1.5cm/1/2″-wide wedges
200g/7oz. raspberries
320g/11 1/4 oz./1 1/2 cups caster sugar(fine baking sugar)
125g/4.4 oz./1 cup blanched hazelnuts
200g/7 oz. soft unsalted butter
3 large eggs, beaten
125g /4.4 oz/1 cup plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt

Hazelnut cake

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Line a round, 24cm/9.5″ spring-form cake tin with baking paper and brush with the oil.
Put the peaches in a bowl with 150g/5 1/3 oz. raspberries and a tablespoon of sugar, mix and leave to steep.
Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz for about a minute – you want them only roughly ground.
Beat the remaining sugar and the butter in an electric mixer until smooth and well combined, then add the eggs one by one, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Add the ground hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and salt, then mix until smooth.
Pour the batter into the cake tin. Arrange the peach slices and raspberries randomly on top and bake for 70 to 80 minutes; after 30 minutes, cover the cake with foil to prevent it from taking on too much colour. Remove the cake from the oven, leave to cool slightly, then release from the tin.**Arrange the remaining raspberries in the centre of the top of the cake and serve.

Tomato Mozzarella Tart

This recipe is from Designlovefest where my niece Joanie works! Joanie is a wonderful cook and food stylist! The tart is so simple and easy and great for lunch or dinner or an appetizer. I used a mixture of cheeses** from Trader Joe’s called Quattro Fromaggio. I love the idea of a vegetable tart and there are endless possibilities!
Tomato Mozzrella tart• 1 box (2 sheets of pastry puff) or one package of Dufour Puff Pastry (pricey but the best!)
• 5 roma tomatoes sliced
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella**
• 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese**
• 1/2 white onion sliced
• 2 garlic cloves chopped
• 1 small bunch marjoram
• 1 bunch fresh basil
• olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon butter
how to make it:
• roll out the pastry puff and defrost in room temperature. pre heat oven to 375. In a baking pan (we used a 13 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ ) lightly grease with non stick cooking spray. Cut parchment paper to size; cutting the edges so as it can fit when pressed down. Lightly spray the parchment paper and lay the defrosted pastry puff on top. we used a fork to push the edges of the two sheets of dough together to make sure it cooked as one and to create a crust around the edge.
• in a medium sized pan on medium heat, melt the butter and place the onion slices. stirring occasionally until browned.
• lightly drizzle dough with olive oil and begin to layer with tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, caramelized onions, marjoram, chopped garlic.
• bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and tomatoes have roasted.
garnish with fresh basil leaves and shaved parmesan. cut into slices and serve!