Casseroles Produce Uncategorized

Gratin Dauphinois of Potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes) and Leeks

    Gratin of Potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes and Leeks
    Gratin of Potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes and Leeks

    When a friend of mine told me she had a bumper crop of Jerusalem Artichokes in her backyard, I saw an opportunity to try yet another overlooked, underappreciated vegetable.

    I had never heard of Jerusalem Artichokes (now often called Sunchokes), though once she dropped them off, I recognized them from that isle in the produce department devoted to intimidating root vegetables. Jerusalem Artichokes are not actually a kind of artichoke though they are in the artichoke family. They are a kind of sunflower and are native to North America. They were grown by Native Americans before Samuel de Champlain discovered them and brought them back to France in the early 1600’s.

    Jerusalem Artichokes
    Jerusalem Artichokes

    When picking sunchokes, look for ones that are firm to the touch and plump. They should be crispy when you slice them raw. As sunchokes sit around, they get mushy.

    I figured the best way to cook this unfamiliar root vegetable would be to add it to a Gratin Dauphinois. I used the Gratin Dauphinois in Jacques Pépin’s book as the basis for my recipe.

    Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook
    Chez Jacques: Traditions and Rituals of a Cook

    I adapted the recipe by adding the sunchokes, the leeks and the nutmeg. Also, I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand in my kitchen. For example, I didn’t have Gruyère cheese, nor did I have half and half or heavy cream, so I substituted 4-year aged cheddar for the Gruyère and 2% milk for the half and half. It came out great, so you should feel confident making these kinds of substitutions in a pinch.

      Appetizers Pizza and Pasta Uncategorized

      Eggplant and Mushroom Pizza with Yummy, Crispy Crust

        Eggplant and Mushroom Pizza
        Eggplant and Mushroom Pizza

        Thanks to Jessie from The Hungry Mouse and Reeni of CinnamonSpiceAndEverythingNice, I was able to solve the problems I encountered when I tried to make Homemade Eggplant Pizza the first time. See that post here.

        When I made pizza the last time, the crust never fully baked and therefore the pizza was soggy and the dough was downright raw in the middle.

        They recommended that I prebake the pizza crust just a little and they also recommended that I cook the pizza for longer than 12 minutes – more like 18 – 22 minutes in a very hot oven. I particularly liked Reeni’s advice to preheat the oven to 500˚F and then turn it back to 450˚F once I put the pizza in the oven. My oven tends to trend a little low anyway and opening the door always knocks the temperature down, so preheating a little high was a great idea.

          Poultry Sauces Uncategorized

          Roasted Chicken with Tyler Florence’s Rosemary Pomegranate Glaze

            Tyler Florence's Rosemary-Pomegranate Glaze on a Chicken
            Tyler Florence: Rosemary-Pomegranate Glaze - On a Chicken

            It’s been Pomegranate Week here at StreamingGourmet, and the finale is this Tyler Florence recipe I found at AOL video and posted to StreamingGourmet. You can view the video at the bottom of this post. He roasts a turkey, but since I was serving only 4 people, I decided to roast a chicken. I harvested the rosemary for this recipe from a huge bush in my neighborhood. Go local!


            I’m estimating these ingredients because in the video recipe, Tyler is not very specific, but here’s how I did it:

            2 Tbsp Olive oil
            2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
            2-3 large sprig of fresh rosemary
            1 cup pomegranate juice
            1/2 cup orange juice
            1/2 cup brown sugar
            1/4 cup honey
            2 Tbsp butter
            1 6 lb chicken, washed and patted dry
            Salt & pepper to taste

            1. To make the sauce, add the olive oil, garlic and rosemary to a small saucepan over medium heat. Sautée for a minute to release the aromatics and then add the pomegranate juice, orange juice, brown sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce is thickened. It should cling to the back of a spoon.

              Breads Uncategorized

              Apple-Pomegranate Spice Bread

                Apple-Pomegranate Spice Bread
                Apple-Pomegranate Spice Bread


                3 cups all-purpose flour
                1/2 tsp salt
                1 Tbsp baking powder
                1 tsp cinnamon
                1/2 tsp ground allspice
                1 pinch ground cloves
                1 generous pinch fresh ground nutmeg
                3/4 cup sugar
                1/4 cup brown sugar
                2 eggs
                1/2 stick (1/4 cup) melted unsalted butter
                1 1/4 cup milk
                1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
                1 cup finely diced apples
                1 cup pomegranate arils

                1. Mix all of the dry ingredients. Stamp the mixture with a whisk to break apart any brown sugar clumps.

                2. Melt the butter by placing it in a microwave-safe ramekin and microwaving it for about 30-40 seconds. Mix the melted butter with the applesauce to cool it down. Beat the eggs and milk together. Beat the applesauce/butter mixture into the egg/milk mixture.

                  Basics Produce Uncategorized

                  How to Get the Arils Out of A Pomegranate

                    Getting the seeds (arils) out of a pomegranate is not as difficult as it may seem. I got more than a cup of arils out of just one large pomegranate, pictured here.


                    Start by cutting off the top of the pomegranate about 1/2 inch down from the top (the crown).

                    Cut off the top of the pomegranate
                    Cut off the top of the pomegranate
                      Produce Uncategorized

                      Pomegranate Teaser

                        Pomegranate Arils
                        Scored Pomegranate with Arils

                        This is the first pomegranate I’ve ever opened. I love the color. The arils were easy to remove. Just wait to see what I’m going to cook with them.

                          Appetizers Salads Uncategorized

                          Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

                            Beet Salad
                            Beet Salad

                            Roasted beet salad is one of my absolute favorites and recently at Le Garage in Sausalito, I had a beet salad with some scrumptious goat cheese on it. I was inspired to make beet salad at home and add a little goat cheese myself.

                            The goat cheese does not appear in the photograph but I dropped slices of it as a garnish right before serving the salad.


                            6 medium beets (3 red, 3 yellow)
                            Olive oil for roasting

                            3 Tbsp Olive oil
                            Juice of half a lemon
                            1 Tbsp fresh grated orange zest
                            Juice of one orange
                            1 Tbsp shallot, minced
                            1/2 tsp dijon mustard
                            1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
                            1 3 oz package of herbed goat cheese – room temperature

                            I’ve been looking for a better way to roast beets and this time I found one from who else? Martha Stewart. Following her advice, I drizzled each beet with olive oil and wrapped it aluminum foil lined with parchment paper. I also seasoned the beets with salt and pepper before folding them up into their individual packets. Then I roasted them for about an hour in an oven heated to 450˚F. They were delicious right from the get-go and needed little adornment for the salad.

                              Soups and Stews Uncategorized

                              Classic Beef Stew

                                Beef Stew
                                Beef Stew

                                I think of November as comfort food month, so I thought I’d kick things off by making some beef stew. It’s easy, healthy and relatively affordable. What more could you want?

                                Time-saving tips:
                                Buy beef cubes pre-cut
                                Buy baby carrots and throw them in whole
                                Buy little red potatoes and just slice them in half


                                2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
                                3 cloves garlic, minced
                                2 lbs Beef Chuck cut into 1 inch pieces (you can buy it that way at the store)
                                2 Tbsp unsalted butter
                                1 large onion, chopped
                                1/4 cup flour
                                2 cups beef stock
                                1 cup red wine
                                1 Bay leaf
                                2 tsp dried thyme
                                Salt and pepper to taste
                                1 can (14.5 oz) ready-cut diced tomatoes
                                3 cups baby red potatoes, cut in half
                                1 bag (16 oz) frozen peas, thawed

                                1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and sautée for 1 minute.

                                  Pizza and Pasta Uncategorized

                                  Soggy Homemade Pizza with Eggplant, Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil

                                    Eggplant Parmesan Pizza
                                    Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

                                    This pizza was an almost complete failure. I say “almost,” because it actually tasted really good. The flavors mingled perfectly: tomato, mozzarella, basil, and eggplant. What could be better? The problem was that the dough would not cook all the way through and it remained so soggy, I couldn’t really pick up a piece of pizza with my hands. I ate it in forkfuls. Tasty, soggy, forkfuls.

                                    I thought I had taken all of the necessary soggy-avoiding measures. I salted the eggplant and let it sit for 30 minutes, blotted out the moisture with a paper towel and repeated for another 30 minutes followed by more blotting.

                                      Basics Uncategorized

                                      Hard-Boiled Disaster

                                        Hard Boiled Egg Exploded in the Boiling Water
                                        Hard Boiled Egg Exploded in the Boiling Water

                                        Last night, I decided to make some hard-boiled eggs for a chef’s salad. Well this chef is embarrassed to admit that I had it in my head that 20 minutes are required to hard boil an egg. I also couldn’t remember if I was supposed to bring the eggs and the water to a boil together or boil the water first and drop in the eggs. I second guessed myself a couple of times and then decided to boil the water first.

                                        I think I did everything wrong. The photo above demonstrates that. The eggs were overcooked. It turns out that 20 minutes completely overdo it. Also, some of the eggs exploded in the water, indicating that perhaps they should have heated up along with the water rather than being tossed in and shocked.

                                        I found this video about boiling the perfect egg and posted it to StreamingGourmet. Next time, I’ll follow the instructions in the video, which include bringing the eggs and the water to boil together and boiling the eggs for only 7 minutes!

                                        Blog Widget by LinkWithin