Posts tagged holiday
Icelandic Chocolate Cake

The recipe is simple and like all good food, the quality of the ingredients determines the outcome of the finished cake. Do splurge on the chocolate and the Irish butter. Shhh--only the baker needs to know that this is a melt-in-the-mouth, six ingredient, ten minute to mix cake. 

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Veronica's Thyme Peanut Chocolate Bark

Taking inspiration from her organic kitchen garden in the verdant Portuguese countryside, Veronica sprinkles organic bittersweet chocolate bark with lemon thyme and hand harvested sea salt. An after dinner treat featuring a delicate texture and gentle saltiness, this is a decadent, grown-up and nostalgic sweet thing.

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Gordon Hamersley's Seared Rack of Lamb

Although this recipe is from his out of print cookbook, Bistro Cooking at Home, you may be able to find a copy on the Internet. When Gordon Hamersley announced he was closing his beloved South End restaurant, the book immediately sold for about $200 online. Today, you can find a used copy at a much more reasonable price. This elegant and exotic preparation has a reputation for changing the minds of lamb eating skeptics.

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Sweet Potato Soufflé

Don't worry about this soufflé falling. It is quite sturdy and wonderful regardless of the height. For Thanksgiving this soufflé is a festive riff on traditional sweet potato side dishes that is all the more impressive when served in individual soufflé ramekins, or the STAUB MINI ROUND BLACK MATTE COCOTTE .25 QT. Any bewitching dark Caribbean rum with a combination of clove, espresso, butterscotch, spiced and/or orange enhances the depth of flavor of the sweet potatoes.  Beware--the smell is so divine that holes may appear where spoons have dug in before the pot even makes it to the table.

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Elegant Pork Rib Roast with Sautéed Apples

Modern pig farming has given the lowly hog a bad wrap. Raised to be leaner and healthier, most supermarket pork cuts in the U.S. are engineered tasteless and rubbery textured pieces of meat. However, if you choose the cut carefully, and cook it to just barely pink, pork can be elegant enough to serve at a dinner party. The rib roast provides a thick layer of fat that helps maintain juicy flesh. To boot, it makes for an impressive dinner centerpiece looking almost too pretty to slice.

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Rack of Lamb with Dijon Herb Coating

Healthier and more sustainably raised than beef, learning to prepare lamb should be a goal of every carnivorous home chef. Lamb is one of the few nearly completely grass-fed animals available from a  local farmer's market shepherd in nearly all regions of the United States.

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Rustic Pear Tart

Pears are gorgeous out of hand eating fruit. If you just can't wait until the fruit is ripe, however, slightly hard pears are perfect for tarts. A bit of sugar and butter is all you need to coax them to perfection. The crispy crunch of the crust paired with the smooth velvet texture of the baked pears is divine. 

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Winston Churchill Cocktail

When crowds gather to celebrate the holiday season a festive drink gets the party started. Look at history for inspiration. Winston Churchill fondly noted, "A single glass of champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced: the imagination is agreeably stirred." Just the kind of mood setting called for to raise spirits and enjoy the company of family and new friend, and old. Churchill's drink of choice, Pol Roger champagne needs little enhancement. A wee bit of Aperol, a festive cranberry garnish, and a splash of sparkling water create a perfect bubbling conversation companion.

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Pumpkin Spice Tart with Maple Whipped Cream

Chemists and anthropologic scientists study the American obsession with pumpkin spice. It turns out that there is a complex physiological and emotional response to certain smells and tastes that takes both branches of science to fully comprehend. First, the science behind aroma explains the important relationship between food and taste. Second, nostalgia and the association of pumpkin pie with America's beloved Thanksgiving traditions help clarify the emotional response to the complex sweet savory combination of roasted squash, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.

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Angel Cake with Meringue Frosting

Versatile and simple to make, this light and airy cake is delicious with or without the frosting, drizzled with chocolate, or served with macerated strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream. It looks rustic right from the pan and elegant dressed with seasonal flowers. 

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Heavenly Angel Cake with Little Devil Frosting

For my son Brady's 10th birthday we travelled to Washington, D.C. He had been dreaming about the flight simulators at the Air & Space Museum. Clearly exceeding his expectations, and such fun, he stood in line three times to enjoy the experience. The first thing he shares with people about our trip to Washington, D.C, however, is not the thrill of piloting the simulator, but his dinner at the recently shuttered Citronelle. Michel Richard was cooking that evening and immediately noticed Brady--probably because their twinkling eyes and dimples are so similar. Chef Richard invited us down to the kitchen to watch his team cook while our meal was being prepared. Before we left he asked Brady what he liked to cook most in the world. Brady thought for a nano second and blurted out, "Heavenly Angel Cake with Little Devil Frosting." Mr. Richard asked Brady to email him the recipe. We did.

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