Conchiglie With Roasted Beets and Pineapple Sage & Watermelon Shiso Sorbet

41

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Conchiglie With Roasted Beets & Basil  © Helene Dujardin 2011

Catching up. Been wanting to catch up with everything since I came back this weekend. With both our schedules on the “busy on repeat” button in August and September, catching up is done on the fly. Early morning chats. Late night chats. With a text. Or a note left intentionally in a back pocket.

We pass each other often lately. We catch up. We appreciate the early morning hours when the pups are still snoring and we can talk seriously or giggle like children. I am traveling a lot for work lately, with his blessing and support. He's been so busy rehearsing and playing gigs that he's had very little to notice I was gone. Sort of...

Edible Summer Rainbow

I love that we both feel well enough in our shoes that the investment we are making in our works and creativity, the time apart working in different cities, the long nights playing music, all this is never tough. It makes us sigh and we do miss each other but it's the kind of absence that makes us keep focused and positive.

It's not always rosy, easy peasy and always fun but it is what it is. The best part is that our choices let us combine what we need to do with what we absolutely love to do. We are ok with it until we crave that catching up time. I see a couple of date nights in our near future and if you have any movie recommendations, send them along by the way!

Roasted Beets © Helene Dujardin 2011

It'd be easy to let good meals be forgotten or to let nutrition be a distant thought. Meals on the go or TV dinners are not something I usually keep around. Not only do I love to cook but there are a few little health issues that have us stay away from made up meals. I love to shop the farmers market too much and stock up more than I should even before I head out of town.

To make sure we get good foods in our bellies in the midst of everything else going on, I like to fix big bowls of pasta bursting with lots of fresh vegetables we just picked at the market. I love adding roasted beets, lots of fresh herbs. My pineapple sage and basil are growing wild so they end up in almost everything we cook. A drizzle of pungent olive oil. I might add a bit of chorizo or leftover shredded roasted chicken depending on what we have that needs to be used.

Conchiglie With Roasted Beets & Basil  © Helene Dujardin 2011

It's nothing fancy but it's wholesome and packed with everything we need to keep going. Another staple is this soup I posted recently. I think I make it about two to three times a week right now. It is so silky and so easy. Whether we cross paths or have the time to sit down and eat together, a bowl of pasta for lunch and a bowl of soup for dinner have been good sound choices to have ready.

Shiso Sorbet  © Helene Dujardin 2011

One thing though...we can't park away our sweet tooth. Given the temperatures above the 100s here, I tend to shy away from the oven. The ice cream machine has been churning pretty much non stop. Lots of frozen yogurts, sorbets and other experiments have been going on in the frozen department. It's been fun and interesting to say the least.

Shiso

One of our latest concoctions and addictions has been Watermelon Shiso Sorbet. I never would have expected to find Shiso at the market but the same vendor who had purslane one week also brought in shiso and I got giddy as a five year-old given a new toy. I've been reading and hearing lots about it and could finally experiment on my own. A new find at the market and I am happy. I am easy that way...!

This sorbet is the perfect ending to a long day. It packs a punch of interesting flavor combining the summer flavor of watermelon and citrus with the minty touch of the shiso. Slightly exotic. Highly refreshing. A few spoonfuls shared at midnight is everything the doctor ordered after a long hard worked day...

Shiso Sorbet  © Helene Dujardin 2011


Conchiglie With Roasted Beets and Pineapple Sage:

Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish

3 small red beets
3 small golden beets
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
one bag (14oz) gluten free conchiglie (or your favorite shell pasta)
1 small red chili pepper, chopped
freshly chopped pineapple sage or basil

Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel and halve the beets. Layer them on a baking sheet and drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 15-20 minutes until the beets are soft and a little brown on the edges. In the meantime, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and place in large bowl. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, add the chopped pepper, the beets and the chopped herbs. Toss and eat right away. This is perfect at room temperature.

Watermelon Shiso Sorbet, adapted from Tara's Plum Shiso Sorbet on Tea and Cookies.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh shiso leaves
One pound watermelon, cubed

In a small saucepan, cook the sugar with the water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the shiso leaves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
In a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon with the syrup until smooth. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Away In Seattle...

37

Friday, August 26, 2011

Seattle Cookbook Shoot

This week of cookbook styling and shooting is over. Grueling. Exhausting. Exhilarating. Soothing. A nice change of pace for me to prop and play with food. I loved every minute of it and enjoyed being in the moment but I admit, I can't wait to get back behind the camera.

Seattle Cookbook Shoot

Working with Clare was just about the awesomest time I have had this summer. It was almost like sharing a brain. Of the good kind. The one without a misplaced ego. Clare called, asked me to style and I did just that. But the way we think and how we similarly sensitive and sensible to photography we are, made it a breathe to navigate the plate and the photograph.

Seattle Cookbook Shoot

Never the words "working together" have had as much meaning as they have this past week. Without spoken words or the feeling of stepping over, we worked together. Clare, Jeanne and I. About thirty five of the seventy five recipes that Jeanne included in her book had to be photographed. That's thirty five recipes to be made every night for their beauty shot the next day.

Seattle Cookbook Shoot

Every night, Jeanne and I would do a perfectly orchestrated ballet of pans and whisks to bake the recipe for the next day of shooting where Clare would work her magic with the camera. Both Jeanne and I know our way around a pastry or a cake but baking for a shoot is slightly different and thankfully there was plenty of wine and good food to help us push through each night after a long day of shooting.

Seattle Cookbook Shoot

We all hit a wall at some point but we worked through them together and pushed through. Always feeling like the other helped a little. I never felt anything but support and kindness. We made a team. "We're number two! We're number two!" Because it's not about us. It's not about being number one. It's about coming together to give Jeanne's book the best photographs. I can't wait for you to see the book next year when it comes out!

Seattle Cookbook Shoot

I stayed with Jeanne, I stayed with Clare. I met them both in their element. I felt home. I was able to get to know them in their crafts and their thought process. I am sad to leave two wonderful talented ladies. I am sad to leave friends. I am happy to get home and share this week with my husband. Hurricane Irene, please be nice...it's been a long week....!

Red Currants
My little homage to Clare's blog header...



Soul Satisfying Roasted Cauliflower, Leek & Garlic Soup and Lemon Fritters

62

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lemon Fritters

I seriously feel like starting this post with "oh what a week...!" to the tune of "oh what a night.." At least, just listening to it makes my feet move under my chair. That's a good thing. I am allowing myself to make room for a giggle and a laugh. It's been such a week for friends and family, near and far. And us trying to navigate the waves and splashes.

Today my heart is a complete split of heavy and light. I guess I could spend the next couple of paragraphs telling you why. But honestly, I am tired of those funky vibes I have experienced all week. Mine included. These two posts will update you on why I have been quiet and reflective lately. And why today I still can't put the broken pieces of heart back together. I've done my kicking and screaming, even if only in my head but I have also welcome every opportunity to change my mind today. That much funk always drives me up the wall. Or to the kitchen actually!

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

I cooked a lot over the last few days. Always therapeutic. I've made a bunch of good for the soul comforting foods. I also made some pretty aromatic dishes to soothe my bronchitis. I packed a few containers full of good and healthy recipes for Bill while I am gone this week. Stirring soup very effectively took my mind away on vacation for a few minutes. Zesting and juicing lemons filled the space with invigorating energy.

Whisking batters, roasting vegetables, hearing the motor of the food processor happily whirl away. Listening to the sizzle of the oil when my friend Laura and I made lemon fritters one night she came over for dinner. It never gets easier, it just gets different. One thing for sure is that friends and keeping busy are always great ingredients to make things better.

Lemon Fritters

I hate that work is taking me away this week and I won't be home with the husband and the pups for a good ten days. I also love that my kind of work gives me the chance to do something a bit different than my usual week. See, I am leaving in the morning and heading out to Seattle for a shoot. My friend Clare Barboza is shooting Jeanne Sauvage's (from The Art Of Gluten Free Baking) first cookbook on gluten free holiday baking and she asked me to come do the styling. As I told them both earlier, I am very much looking forward to rest my photographer's eyes and put my styling goggles on for a week!

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

I love Clare and her photography, I love Jeanne's recipes (and I get to meet her chickens!), the publisher (Chronicles) and it's Seattle! My last visit was a bit short there so I am looking forward to a longer stay and some fun happenings! Our shooting and baking/prep schedule is packed (just as my suitcase!) but you can bet I'll do my best to find time for a little fun!

I hate to leave Bill with the pups, that's a given, but I hate to leave him without something comforting to eat, especially the first night I am gone. When I made a Roasted Cauliflower, Leek and Garlic Soup the other day, he asked that I made another batch to store away while he'd be alone with his books. I am kinda sad I can't sneak a cup on the plane with me. It's really good. Don't let its creamy grey color fool you...there is nothing bland or blah about this soup. Creamy, toasty, garlicky. Silky.

Lemon Fritters

When I wasn't feeling good this past weekend, I texted Laura that I had absolutely no appetite. She texted me back a very worried "really? nothing?" I know....worried me too actually. I am never one without an appetite, even sick. I paused for a second and thought "actually...lemon fritters sound really really good right now!". We rarely do fried anything but that fried little pieces of dough were always in my grandmother's arsenal remedy when we were sick. It worked back then. And it worked again this time!

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

Good friends, good food, good drinks and tons of good laughs sure made me feel better on all front this past week. I wish mending the world troubles would be as easy as writing a prescription for each but that's always a start...

Roasted Cauliflower, Leek and Garlic Soup:

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer, 4 as an main dish

Ingredients:
1 small head of cauliflower
1 whole head garlic
2 leeks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 to 1 cup water, or veggie or chicken stock

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F (convection) and position a rack in the middle.
Trim the outer leaves from the cauliflower head. Cut in quarters, remove the core, and cut the cauliflower into medium size florets. Place on a large baking sheet.
Cut the garlic head in half, place on the baking sheet with the cauliflower.
Trim the white part from the green stalk of the leeks. Keep the white part and cut into medium sized chunks. Wash well under water and place also on the baking sheet.
Drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool slightly. Place in a food processor, start running the machine and add enough water to have a creamy soup. Re-season if necessary with salt and pepper. Serve.

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Lemon Fritters:
Make about 20 to 30 small fritters

Ingredients:
1 -2 cups canola oil
1 cup sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
2 eggs
1 cup millet flour
1 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk

Heat oil in medium large cast iron pan until temperature reaches 375F.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, juice and eggs until well blended. Add the millet, rice flour and baking powder, along with the milk. Mix well until the mixture is smooth. Drop by large spoonfuls into the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan or it will lower the heat too much and you will end up with soggy fritters. Let cook for 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Comforting Recipes: Quinoa, Watermelon & Feta Salad, Roasted Pepper & Ricotta Tart, Peach & Nectarine Granita

39

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quinoa, Watermelon & Feta Salad

We're back home. Everything and everyone is getting back to normal. Groceries, laundry, walks with the pups. And yet, everything's different. Every move taken and every thing said is tinted with a veil of deep sadness and compassion.

As some of you may have learned, one wonderfully kind and talented food blogger, Jennifer Perillo, lost her husband suddenly this past weekend. I did not know Jennifer well. We had met briefly at several conferences in the past. We were Twitter and Facebook friends. We did not live close. We did not email. We did not talk on the phone. Yet, if I could wrap my arms around her today and hope it helped a little, I would.

Roasted Pepper & Ricotta Tart

Over the year, I have come to deal with the fact that I don't care that much of August. I have a love-hate relationship with August actually. My brother passed away in August. My grandmother too. It's my mother's birthday in August. And my grandfather's too. He's 101 this year by the way. Talk about witnessing life and mortality.

I am finally ok with August being a crappy month for myself. I hate, hate, hate the fact that now it will be a difficult time for Jenny and her daughters. I, and others who have lost dear ones, know the journey ahead. And we hurt inside for Jenny and her daughters already. How to make it better? How to make it easier?

Peaches

Just like finding a few dishes prepared for you when you come back from travels, or finding the fridge a little fuller than when you left. Just like noticing a full basket of fruits on the counter and a "welcome home" note; we can be there for Jennifer and her family just the same.

Those little gestures mentioned above done by my mother in law right before we walked in the door, were immensely appreciated and resonated deeply within us. Caring for one another does is not about climbing the highest peaks or diving the deepest sea. Little gestures. A meal. A note. A walk. A hug. Expressing respect. And compassion.

Quinoa, Feta and Watermelon Salad

When I went back home to my brother's funerals, I came back to many cards of condolences, many phone calls and texts. I also had many friends drop by with a bite to eat. They knew food was the last thing I wanted. I wanted to disappear. I was numb. But mechanically, I ate the dishes they brought over. It was sustenance. I let Bill rocked me too sleep many many nights. It was a necessity. I still sleep as little now as I did then.

For weeks, life was on auto-pilot but I do remember the comfort of sharing memories with people who came over with a giant green salad or a pint of sorbet. I remember those moments gently pulled me out of this quiet space I had made for weeks. The comfort of my neighbor Camille's voice as she scooped her famous peach granita into little cups for us and her kids. The warmth of the oven touching my cheeks as I opened it to retrieve the first tart I had made since...since Thierry had left us.

Roasted Pepper & Ricotta Tart

Normalcy mixed with extraordinary circumstances. Jennifer and her family are going through this as I write it. They need us, our thoughts, prayers and memories of them for those who knew them. They need them now but they will need them months and years form now. Thankfully, and because the food community and humanity in general is pretty damn grand, reaching out to them is already happening.

Erika from Ivory Hut, who went through her own tragedy last year, losing everything in a house fire, is gathering the troops to help out. A care package program is being organized for those who are not in Jennifer's area so a little piece of love and care can be delivered now and for months to come right to her doorstep. Locals are also organizing a relief effort to show her that not only we care but we are here for her.

White Nectarines

To get more details and to lend a hand and a comforting gesture, please email Erika at erika@ivoryhut.com

My heart is heavy for the Perillos right now. But it is also full of hope. I know there will be many a smiles in their future even only through the solace of your thoughts and words for them.

When someone around Bill and myself is going through tough times and could use a night off, we volunteer to take care of their kids, their pups or we just drop off a collection of dvds and a good meal. It's small compared to the void we cannot fill but it's a start. Food I can do. Which is why I am sharing three recipes (click on "continue for recipes" that are good options to bring to someone who might need a little comfort and a lot of hugs.

Peach & Nectarine Granita

This post is dedicated to Mikey, Jennifer and their daughters. We don't know each other all that well, but I really wish I could change your August. Now and forever.

Please read this.


Quinoa, Watermelon and Feta Salad:

Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

When it comes to food and comforting friends with a little something to nosh on, I always gravitate towards dishes that can easily last a few days and only get better with a bit of time. Lately, we have been feasting on bowls after bowls of Quinoa, Watermelon and Feta Salad many days in a row. Sometimes with a poached egg on top. In the heat of the summer, this salad is not only healthy and light but also super refreshing.

Ingredients:
1.5 cups quinoa
3 cups water
1 cup watermelon, rind removed and cut into small cubes
2 oz feta, crumbled
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped thin
1/3 cup loosely packed mint, chopped thin
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:
In a large saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot halfway and cook until the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa is translucent (about 20 minutes). Let cool completely.
When the quinoa is cooled, add the remaining ingredients and fold carefully. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Roasted Red Pepper & Ricotta Tart:

Serves 4 as a light main dish.

Another dish that I always find easy to fix, transport and leave in someone's fridge or freezer for them to reheat easily and quickly is a gluten free Roasted Pepper & Ricotta Tart. Accompanied by a green salad and you have something satisfying and nourishing. A little balm for the heart. And the belly.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon piment d'Espelette (or pinch red pepper flakes)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 egg yolks (save one white for the filling)
pinch salt
1/2 cup (80gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) potato flour
(or 1.5 cups of all purpose flour if not using gf flours)

For the filling:
3 to 4 bell peppers of various colors (red, yellow, orange)
1 cup ricotta
1 egg white
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter, piment and mustard on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add all the different flours and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your preferred tart pan. If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pan, just patch it with your fingertips. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and prepare it up to 4 days in advance.

Prepare the filling:
Method 1:
Preheat the oven to 400F and then roast the peppers until their skin turn black, remove from the oven, place then in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them cool completely. Remove the plastic, and peel the skin right off the pepper, seed them too and cut them in halves or at least fairly large pieces.

Method 2:
Blacken the skin of the peppers over an open flame such as a gas stove or grill. Place then in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them cool completely. Remove the plastic, and peel the skin right off the pepper, seed them too and cut them in halves or at least fairly large pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, egg white, salt and pepper. Layer at the bottom of the prepared tart shell. Layer the roasted pepper pieces on top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

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Peach and Nectarine Granita:

Makes enough for 8

Since it's August, and it's still mostly to very warm just about anywhere, I got to say that the most comforting thing for me and many others I know, is still to dig my spoon in soft soothing ice cream. Or sorbet. Or granita. In this case, I was pressed to use the four peaches and nectarines we still had from our trip to the market before heading down to Florida. So easy to make and since it's stored in the freezer, it'll be there anytime you need a little cooling treat.

Ingredients:
2 peaches, skin and pit removed
2 nectarines, skin and pit removed
1/4 cup honey
juice of one lemon
1 cup Greek yogurt or creme fraiche

Directions:
In a food processor, puree all the ingredients together. Place in a large baking dish and freeze. After two hours, run a fork along the length of the dish, breaking up the fruit mixture into a granita. Repeat the process every hour or so for about 4-5 times until the mixture is completely frozen but you get a shaved ice consistency all the way through. We like ours chunky but the more times you run your fork in the mixture, the thinner the shavings will be.

Fig "Gateau de Riz", Miso Salmon & A Refreshing Apricot Cherry Cocktail

58

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gateau De Riz Aux Figues Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011

The excitement of coming home is often trumped by the reality of an empty fridge. Rarely in my family actually. Back home, we have this tradition to invite the weary travelers for dinner so that they don't have to worry about getting groceries, cooking while unpacking and sorting laundry. They also know that they can start recounting their trip and everyone will listen and partake.

The meal is nothing fancy, nine times out of ten it will be a quiche and a salad, a fruit and some yogurt. There may or may not be a cocktail or aperitif before the meal and a few many pictures looked at after dinner. The whole idea is to get together and pay attention to the ones around us, listen and smile along with them. It's good for the soul.

Figs

Bill's family is not like that. Nothing negative in my saying this, it's just what it is. It's not something they do. I am ok with that. When my in-laws were still traveling, I would do it for them. I think they thought it was "another cultural difference". I heard that comment a lot at first, always in a jovial way. And yes...there are lots of things that we do differently. But we like getting together around a good meal just the same, also.

When we travel, I try to have something easy waiting for us in the freezer. That way, I can just put them in the oven or on the stove and start unloading, sorting laundry, and all the fun stuff associated with "home atmosphere re-entry". I am not this organized for everything but I do notice that I am when there is food involved. On se refait pas...one doesn't change!

Salmon Dish Ingredients Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011

I know that even if we have great meals while traveling, we will have a hunkering for seafood, plenty of clean and light flavors, a big plate of vegetables, and something sweet to end. It's nothing fancy but it comes together easily while we find our bearings at home again.

Miso Salmon Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011

I like to fix us something that packs a punch in the healthy department such as salmon. After days on the road, it makes me feel like I am bringing all our levels back up in a flash. By the time we are done unpacking and everything is sorted out, my fish is ready to cook, which takes virtually no time, and the vegetables are just crisp and al dente.

For dessert, while I am completely fine with a piece of fruit and a yogurt, I like something that brings me closer to home, even if only in my thoughts. Something that I know my mother or grandmother would have made for the travelers coming home that day. One of the things my grandmother was an ace with baking was her fruit tarts and her riz au lait (rice pudding). These are comfort food for me.

Gateau De Riz Aux Figues Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011

One day my aunt and uncle were coming back from their vacation, she started preparing a meal for them and plopped me on the stool next to her so I could watch her waltz with pots and pans and work her magic with ingredients. She decided to turn her rice pudding into a rice pudding cake. Gateau de riz is truly a home cook's dessert in France. Almost an institution. She found the recipe and we made it our own. With figs. Lots of figs from the market. And lots of whipped cream. She loved whipped cream. I do too.

To this day, everytime we go away on travel, I either prepare a galette loaded with fruits (so they won't go bad while we are gone) or a "Gateau de Riz Au Lait" and park them in the freezer. Once back home, I just sprinkle either or with some sugar, heat it up in the oven and by the time we are done with dinner, dessert is warm and ready for us. And we are ready for bed!

Rainier Cherries

In about 48 hours, and in between two photo gigs, we are taking another road trip (shorter this time) to Orlando, Florida. On Disney ground. And it's not even a vacation and I've never been to Disney. I am teaching t at the USCPA Annual Conference. They revamped lots of their sessions and asked that I teach a couple of workshops of Food Photography & Styling. I am really honored to be among chefs who are small business owners and entrepreneurs and who get together to share knowledge and information. I am taking an extra day to do "the Disney thing" and get it out of my system though!

Apricot and Cherry Cocktail Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011

This past Sunday, as I poured over both our packed schedules for August and September, trying to secure itineraries, airfares and hotels, my brain just about exploded and I exclaimed "Oh boy, I need a drink!". I like an aperitif once in a while but I was really thirsty was something light on the alcohol content(I did not want to book a flight to Seattle while I was supposed to head out to New Hampshire!) and refreshing against the heat and humidity around.

Apricot and Cherry Cocktail Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011

Luckily, friends were coming over for dinner to celebrate my friend Holly Herrick's Tart Love almost-book release (she had a review copy to show me my photographs "in action")and I had the perfect excuse to try this Apricot and Cherry Breezer cocktail from Bakers Royale. I marinated the apricot juice with dark cherries the first time (depicted above) which made it a really cool shade of red-purple. It hit the spot perfectly! Refreshing, light and not completely boozy that you can't function. I saved the extra in an ice cube tray to thaw and use up as needed, mandated, prescribed or required...! This cocktail will be the perfect thing to have next week when we get home and unpack. To repack almost instantly.

Cheers to you and to August! It is definitely a busy month to us all as we try to wrap up the summer...but nothing that can't be helped with good food, good cheers and good people!

Gateau De Riz Aux Figues Copyright © Helene Dujardin 2011


Gateau De Riz Aux Figues, adapted from this one from Elle A Table:

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1 cup short grain rice
1 cup water
1 can coconut milk (14oz)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
6 large eggs
20 small figs (more if necessary to cover surface of cake, mine were really tiny)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, bring the rice, one cup water and half the coconut milk to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook until all the liquid has been absorbed (about 20 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, mix together the remaining coconut milk, brown sugar and the eggs until well blended. Add the rice and mix until everything is well incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Cut the figs in half and arrange them on the cake. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown. Eat warm...it's nicer.

Miso Salmon With Ginger Vegetables:

Serves two

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons brown miso paste
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Two 4-oz salmon fillets
sesame oil
1/2 red bell pepper (I used a couple of mini ones)
1 cup snow peas
2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the miso, sesame seeds and half the grated ginger. Rub the salmon fillets with that mixture. Heat a large saute pan and sear the salmon for about 4 minutes on each side in a little sesame oil.
In the meantime, prepare the vegetables: in a large saute pan or wok, heat a little sesame oil again and cook the red bell pepper and snow peas along with the garlic and remaining grated ginger until al dente.
Serve with the salmon.

Apricot Cherry Breezer:
Click to get the recipe on Bakers Royale.

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