Friday, April 9, 2021

12th issue of the Magazine + Fresh Papardelle with mushrooms & asparagus in a lemon cream sauce!

I can hardly believe we've been publishing for a year! Download your free issue of our recipe magazine, Food in the Time of Quarantine here: FitToQ April 2021

This Creamy Vegetarian Pasta is Perfect for All the Lovely Asparagus in Season

By Joy Gordon Stewart


Twenty years ago now I had the distinct pleasure of dining at Postrio, Wolfgang Puck’s San Francisco restaurant. It still gives me shivers to recall how delicious his wild mushroom ravioli with pencil asparagus and morel mushrooms in a lemon cream sauce was. For two decades I have been dreaming of this bright fresh sauce, with tender handmade pasta, accompanied by the chewy, earthy morels and equally tender and lightly herbaceous baby asparagus. For the 12th issue of the magazine, I wanted to do something special. I chose a theme that is near and dear to my heart: the Farmer’s Market. Some of my favorite meals have involved a few high quality ingredients allowed to shine through a simple preparation. I’ve asked my contributors to share dishes that are inspired by a particularly fresh and lovely vegetable. This month that vegetable is asparagus. It is a lovely vegetable,fresh, and slightly herbaceous with just a hint of grit and bitterness and absolutely redolent of new spring growth. That is why it is the perfect main ingredient for our Farmer's Market theme. Although I haven’t gone to nearly as much effort as the dish that inspired this recipe, I have none-the-less used what approximate the same flavors and ingredients. I made my own pasta, using this recipe from Gimme Some Oven. I used all semolina, but next time I’ll go 50/50 with AP flour, as it was slightly gritty. I rolled it out by hand, thin enough that I could see light through it and cut it using a measuring spoon handle as a width guide. Check out the post I linked for some great pictures on how to easily cut rolled out pasta to uniform length. If you don’t want to take the time or are intimidated by the thought (it’s really easy--you cannot knead it too much and you can make it in the food processor as well as the stand mixer; just remember to let it rest at least 30 minutes wrapped in cling film and roll it out very very thinly) you can also easily get fresh made pasta at the supermarket. If that doesn’t fit into your budget try to go for a fancier hollow extruded noodle, such as cellentani or campanelle; something that can absorb a lovely cream sauce into its crevices. 

How long to cook the asparagus will depend upon how thin the stalks are. If you can find pencil or baby asparagus, which are very thin, you will not need more than a minute. The thicker the stalks the longer they will need to cook. 

Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms & Pencil Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce

Serves 4

10 ounces assorted mushrooms, chopped
10 ounces pencil asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1” pieces
12 ounces fresh pappardelle pasta (or other wide noodle)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup wine
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt
Pepper

Method: 

Put up a large pot of heavily salted boiling water. Boil the pasta in the salted water for around 7 minutes (if your pasta is store bought, cook it for the length of time indicated on the package). While the pasta is boiling, melt butter and combine with olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. With a small pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper, saute onions over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add mushrooms and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has just evaporated (5-7 minutes). If you can only find very wide asparagus (about the width of a wooden cooking spoon handle), they will need up to five minutes to saute with the mushrooms, so add them early (the goal is for both to be cooked according to your preference at the same time); if they are thinner, they will need to be added later. Once the asparagus is cooked and the mushroom liquid has dissolved, add the wine to deglaze. Scrape the lovely caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Scoop out the veggies and set aside. Add cream and lemon zest to the pan and turn the heat down to low. For 5 minutes, barely simmer the cream. Meanwhile, the pasta will have finished cooking. Drain pasta, reserving one cup of pasta water. Add veggies to the cream sauce and then mix sauce with pasta. Add 1/3 cup pasta water as you mix, to help the sauce cling to the pasta. Serve garnished with minced Italian parsley.



Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Easter & Pesach issue of our recipe magazine is here!! Download your copy today for free

Our 12th issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine is out now! Let us help you celebrate Easter and Passover with playful, inexpensive holiday recipes! There's even a method of making your own soap to hand out as gifts! Grab your free copy of our recipe magazine today!


Download your free copy here: FitToQ March 2021

 

Matzo Ball & Chicken Soup

What are matzo balls? They are a kind of dumpling made from a holiday cracker called matzo. Matzo is eaten during the Passover holiday to symbolize the haste with which the Isrealites were compelled to flee Egypt (they did not even have time for their bread to rise). During the week long Passover holiday, out of respect for our harried ancestors, we are forbidden to eat all foods which are leavened. Matzo becomes fairly important to a lot of dishes during that week. It is scrambled with eggs and served with jam (called Matzo Brei); it is used as a binder in holiday casseroles (such as savory kugels--a dense casserole resembling a kind of pudding); a very popular use for it is as a dumpling in chicken soup. These dumplings are so popular the dish is named for them: matzo ball soup. Matzo balls can be large or enormous, light and soft or dense and chewy. They are made according to the cook's preference. My ideal matzo ball is on the small side, light and soft with just a little bit of bite.

I may seem like a lot of work for one pot of soup, but this chicken soup is flavorful and immensely satisfying (especially as we start to catch change of the season colds). If anyone in our house has the sniffles I leave the skin on the chicken. This is because of a homeopathic belief that chicken fat has natural antibiotics.


Matzo Ball & Chicken Soup

Makes 16 servings


Soup:

32 ounces organic chicken stock
1 whole (~5 lbs) chicken, broken down
16 ounces mirepoix
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

In a stockpot over medium heat, add olive oil. Add mirepoix, thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper and the bayleaf. Saute until mirepoix has softened and become fragrant (approx 5 minutes).
Rinse chicken pieces under cold water and add to stock pot. Add stock, then water to cover.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20 - 25 minutes, or until chicken breasts are cooked through. Remove chicken breasts and when they are cool enough to handle, remove meat and return bones to the stock pot. Simmer dark meat for another 20 minutes, then remove, pull from bones and return bones to the pot.
Cook on the lowest setting for an additional 40 - 60 minutes, skimming the fat off of the surface occasionally.
When needed, strain broth and bring to a boil to cook the matzo balls (see below).

Matzoh balls:

4 jumbo eggs
1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
1/4 cup neutral oil*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 ounces carbonated water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Whisk together egg and oil (or schmaltz). Mix in matzoh meal, salt, baking powder and soda water.
2. Set in fridge for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, strain 8 cups of soup into a pot with a tightly fitted lid. Bring to a boil.
4. Form balls approximately 1" diameter.
5. Place balls in boiling soup. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Cook the balls in two batches to give them enough room to expand.

Serve dumplings in broth with chicken meat.

*Substitute schmaltz if you should have some in your pantry

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Show Your Valentine Some Love with the Feb issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine!

 Hi all!


I'm back with the 10th issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine, and this issue is all about...LOVE

That's right: elegant starters, decadent mains and rich desserts, all on a budget, all for you.


Download your free .pdf here:


The two recipes of mine included in this issue are: Linguini Alla Marcella & Mini Chocolate Cheesecake with Earl Grey Ganache



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Recipe magazine - Food in the Time of Quarantine New Years Ed is out now!

New year, new you? We've made some common resolutions easier to stick to with a collection of bright, healthy and fun recipes! And for the first time this issue is entirely vegetarian! So let us help you feed you and your family with enticing, light options and stick to your #veganuary resolve!

Download your free copy here

Friday, December 11, 2020

Food in the Time of Quarantine Holiday Issue!! + Grand Marnier Truffles!

Food in the Time of Quarantine Holiday Issue


We are living in difficult times. As the holidays roll around and it is looking unsafe to visit family, we must try to connect as best we can and find joy wherever we can. Hopefully we can spark a bit of goodwill with a few food ideas to treat yourself and those in your bubble. 

The hope is, as the song says "may your days be merry and bright" 

If you are looking for some extra goodwill or want to cook yourself a festive meal, we can offer you our recipe magazine, free for everyone to download. In it you will find mains, sides, appetizers, desserts, cocktails and even homemade gifts!

Download a free .pdf here: Food in the Time of Quarantine Dec 2020



Grand Marnier Truffles

This holiday season, why not give your loved ones the gift of chocolates to show them how much you care? It is surprisingly easy. Instead of Grand Marnier, you can customize these truffles by steeping tea leaves in your cream mixture before pouring it over the chocolate. To temper your chocolate, melt 3/4 of the chocolate reserved for the shells and bring the temperature of the melted chocolate quickly down by removing the chocolate from the heat and adding the remaining 1/4 chopped chocolate





Grand Marnier Truffles


3/4 cups cream

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and clarified

3 Tablespoons Grand Marnier

8 ounces good quality (70% or better) semi sweet dark chocolate, chopped

5 ounces good quality milk or dark chocolate, chopped


1. Create the ganache: heat cream over low heat and add orange zest, allowing it to steep for 5 minutes (if you’re not planning to use orange zest. Bring cream up to a low boil and turn heat off immediately. Add Grand Marnier and clarified butter to cream and whisk to combine.

2. Place your 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate into a stainless steel bowl and pour hot cream and butter mixture through a sieve into the chocolate.

3. Stir to melt chocolate with the heat from the cream and butter mixture. When everything has been combined and all chocolate has been melted, set aside in a dry, cool place to come to room temperature.

4. In roughly 30 minutes, when the ganache has set, form into Tablespoon sized balls. Cover tightly and set briefly in the fridge while you melt the remaining chocolate.

5. Fill the bottom of a double boiler with about 3 inches of hot water and bring to a temperature just below a simmer. Put 5 ounces chopped chocolate in the top layer of the double boiler and melt, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

6. Take melted chocolate off of the heat and dip ganache balls into it one by one, balanced on the tines of a fork. Shake excess chocolate off after each truffle is dipped. Set covered truffles on a parchment lined sheet tray to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or package in cute boxes to give out as gifts.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Thanksgiving Issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine + 2 Classic TDay Sides

 Hello all! I'm so pleased and excited to be bringing you the Thanksgiving issue of our free recipe Magazine, Food in the Time of Quarantine with double the recipes! Whatever your Thanksgiving looks like this year--even if it's a vegetarian celebration--we've got you covered!



Download your FREE .pdf here: Food in the Time of Quarantine Nov 2020


The two recipes of mine included in this issue are my Scratch Made Green Bean Casserole

And my Sour Cream & Green Onion Mashed Potatoes


Sour Cream & Green Onion Mashed Potatoes









Wednesday, October 7, 2020

October Issue of the Magazine & Apple Spice Bread!!

 Hello everyone! I'm so thrilled to be brining you the October issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine, our free recipe magazine! This month's issue aims to help you while you "homeschool" with quick meals or recipes that are fun to make with your children.

It's "hot off the presses!" Download it here: https://tinyurl.com/y57nx88l







Apple Spice Bread




I am eating this bread as I type this. It is moist, with a warmth from the spices and an unmistakable apple flavor. This bread is low-fat to keep it on the healthy side and there is fiber from the whole wheat. Adding applesauce alongside the oil in this bread not only cuts down on fat but also makes the bread taste even more of apples. One of my favorite things about this bread is how versatile it is. You could add a cup of nuts or dried fruit or both. If you wanted to make it more decadent you could top it with a crumb topping. A gluten free version made all or partly with oat flour would be delightful (if you've ever had sauteed apples in your oatmeal you'll probably be of the same mind). And if you'd like to make it a bit more healthy you can sub out the oil with another half cup of applesauce and cut down on the sugar. I made this bread with fuji apples, which are more sweet than tart, so if you'd rather use tart apples like granny smith, adjust your sugar accordingly.

Of course, my absolute favorite thing about it is that this recipe makes two loaves. One to enjoy immediately and one to freeze. Freeze it in slices wrapped in cling wrap, then store wrapped slices in a zip top freezer bag. The fresh made bread will keep for up to 4 days, wrapped in cling wrap (slice as you go) and the frozen bread will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Apple Spice Bread

Makes 2 Loaves

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup neutral oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups (grated) apples

Method:

stir flours, spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg), baking powder and salt together. Mix in sugars, eggs, applesauce and oil. Mix will feel a bit dry. Peel and grate the apples and add the juice as well as the fruit. The juice from the grated apples will bring the bread to the correct consistency. Divide between two greased 9 x 13" loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.