The Greenest Green Salad

From Repertoire, my new favorite cookbook! The dressing is a cross between Green Goddess and Ranch and full of flavor. Perfect to harvest the herbs from your late summer garden. I made a full batch of the dressing and a half batch of the salad for two of us and we had lots of leftovers. Dress your salad to order to save for the next meal!

2 oil packed anchovy fillets
1/2 c. Hellman’s/Best Food mayonnaise
1/3 c. full fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 c. fresh Parsley leaves
1/4 c. fresh Basil leaves
1 T. lemon juice, plus additional for seasoning
2 T. finely chopped fresh Tarragon leaves
2 T. minced Chives
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Snap Peas
2 Hearts of Romaine, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 Persian or Japanese Cucumbers, diced
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 Avocado, cubed
In the food processor, combine the anchovies, mayo, yogurt, parsley, basil and 1 T. lemon juice and process until smooth and brilliant green. Transfer to a lidded jar and stir in the Tarragon and Chives, season to taste with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil and add the snap peas, cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Rinse with cold water until cool. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to dry. Cut each pea in half crosswise.
In a large bowl, combine the snap peas, romaine, cucumbers, and green onions and mix well to combine. Add the avocado and about half of the dressing (or less). Mix gently until well coated, season with salt and pepper and serve cold.

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Beef Stroganoff

This is a very adaptable recipe I found when I goggled Julia’s beef stroganoff. I found gorgeous shiitakes at my local grocery and cut them in quarters as my husband does not like mushrooms! The shallots and Madeira give the sauce a great flavor. We served over egg noodles and it was delicious! Note-I did not find the need to add the softened butter at the end of the recipe. I also cooked my shiitake mushrooms for double the time so they browned. I also only cooked my tenderloin 1 minute per side as I still wanted it rare-ish.

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (I much prefer Crimini or shiitake mushrooms)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon good cooking oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
2 1/2 pounds filet of beef
2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon cooking oil, more if needed
1/2 cup Madeira or dry white vermouth
1 cup beef stock
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch blended with 1 tablespoon of the cream
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons softened butter
parsley chopped

Trim off the surrounding fat and filament from the beef and cut into 2-ounce pieces, about 2 inches across and 1/2-inch thick. Dry thoroughly on paper towels.

Sauté the mushrooms in the first amount given of butter and oil for about five minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in the shallots and cook for a minute longer. Season the mushrooms and scrape them into a side dish.

Place butter and oil in the skillet and set over moderately high heat. When the butter foam begins to subside, sauté the beef, a few pieces at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side to brown the exterior but keep the interior rosy red. Set the beef on a side dish and discard the fat.

Pour the wine and stock into the skillet and boil it down rapidly, scraping up the coagulated cooking juices, until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Beat in the cream, then the cornstarch mixture. Simmer a minute. Add the mushrooms and simmer a minute more. The sauce should be lightly thickened. Correct seasonings.

Season the beef lightly with salt and pepper and return it to the skillet along with any juices which may have escaped. Baste the beef with the sauce and mushrooms, or transfer everything to a serving casserole.

When you are ready to serve, cover the skillet or casserole and heat to below the simmer for 3-4 minutes, being very careful not to overdo it or the pieces of filet will be well done rather than rare. Off heat and just before serving, tilt casserole, add butter to sauce a bit at a time while basting the meat until the butter has absorbed. Decorate with parsley and serve over egg noodles at once.

A Cake Fit for Julia /Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Cake with Amaretti Crumbs

From the wonderful Dorie Greenspan! I had to order the amaretti cookies from Amazon-this cake comes together in less than 15 minutes as it is all made in the food processor. A small and sweet little cake! This cake is over the top delicious and very special!!

1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pan
¾ cup (75 grams) sliced or slivered almonds
6 double amaretti cookies (about 72 grams), such as Lazzaroni brand
⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, melted (it can still be warm)
FOR THE GLAZE:
2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 double amaretti cookies (about 24 grams), crushed

  1. Center a rack in the oven, and preheat to 350. Butter an 8-inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the interior with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.
  2. To make the cake: Put the almonds, amaretti, sugar, cocoa and salt into a food processor, and process in short spurts, until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Add the butter and eggs, and process, scraping the bowl occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is homogeneous. Add the melted chocolate a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Scrape the bowl, and then pour the batter into the pan. Standing back (to avoid being showered by cocoa powder), rap the pan against the counter a few times, to break the largest bubbles in the batter.
  3. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out streaky; the top of the cake will look dry and perhaps cracked. If the top has erupted in a couple of places — it happens — use a spatula to press down the bumps as best as you can. Let the cake rest on a rack for 15 minutes.
  4. Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto the rack, peel off the paper and turn right side up; cool to room temperature.
  5. When you’re ready to glaze the cake, place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil — the drip-catcher.
  6. To make the glaze: Put the chocolate in a heatproof measuring cup with a spout or in a bowl. Bring the cream, sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan (or do this in the microwave). Pour the cream over the chocolate, and stir gently until you have a smooth glaze.
  7. Pour the glaze over the cake, and use an offset spatula or knife to spread it over the top. Sprinkle over the crushed amaretti. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set the glaze (which will always be soft). Serve the cake slightly chilled or at room temperature (my preference).

The best Banana Bread

From Joanne Chang and her wonderful bakeries in Boston called Flour. Use your stand mixer for beating the sugar and eggs together for ten minutes. I cooked this an extra 10 minutes as I did not want a soggy center to the bread. I think it is one of the best banana bread recipes!

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.