Archive for Recipes

Recipe for Poached Pears

POACHED PEARSRecipe for Poached Pears

Desserts are the best, aren’t they? Recipes for desserts are overly abundant because of the variety you can find in a dessert. Chocolatey or fruity, velvety or crunchy, decadent or light, sweet or tart. The possibilities are endless. And complicated. And overwhelming. How about some simple poached pears?

My Story

poached pearsI recently got some Korean Pears for Christmas. These things are huge! And extremely meaty. I didn’t know what I was gong to do with them. I stared and stared at them. They weren’t speaking to me in their natural state. They were being very quiet and illusive.

I started thinking about a tart I made once in a cooking class with poached pears. But a whole tart for just me? That was way too much. I started researching the recipe for poached pears and what can be done with just that simple fruit. It’s amazing how many different recipes there are, but I went with the one I’d tried before.

Desserts Everywhere!

I have always loved desserts. That was the first thing I taught myself how to cook. (FYI, simple desserts are a great way to start learning). If you saw me, you’d be able to tell right away I love sweets. Chocolate is my big weakness. But sometimes I want something a little different.

I really am not into pies (I’m not a big fan of pie crusts), but I like certain types of fruit. Most berries. Plums. Peaches, Applies and pears if I slice them up first.

Crumbles I really like, because that houses the kind of crust I like, the brown sugar and butter crunch type. Is there anything better? Like Julia Child said “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” She really liked butter.

Cookies aren’t really considered a dessert, but they sure do look pretty on a plate.

Ice cream for dessert anyone? Oh my goodness! David Lebovitz is the king of ice cream. He is a professional chef and baker (the best of both worlds). This professional baker wrote a whole book on ice cream, called The Perfect Scoop, and you can buy it here. In addition, he wrote several other books (stories!) about his move to Paris, and all his books contain recipes.

Cakes. Candies. Puddings and custards. Fruits.

I’ve recently discovered fruit as the star of a dessert. Let’s talk about that.

Fruits are Elegant

Everyone thinks of a pie or crumble with fruit. But there is so much more that you can do! A topping for ice cream. Or even better, place the fruit in a bowl and top with a scoop of ice cream. A crepe filling perhaps? They will make a nice addition to a cheese plate. What about cut fruit drizzled with chocolate syrup?

Any diy home goddess should have one simple yet elegant fruit recipe in their repertoire. And poached pears are the perfect ticket. Simple. Elegant. Impressive. Do I dare say any more?

Poached Pear Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sweet white winepoached pears
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Poached pearsInstructions:

  1. Add all ingredients except the pears into a 4-quart sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, usually number 6 or 7 on the stovetop.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to a simmer (about number 3) and add the pears.
  5. Cook for 30 minutes, or until a knife can pierce a pear easily. I usually just leave it in for 30 minutes.poached pears
  6. Pull out of the saucepan and slightly cool.
  7. Serve in a bowl with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Hints

  • You can poach apples or peaches. Any firm, meaty fruit will do.
  • If you don’t have a lemon handy, pull out that cut plastic container of lemon juice. 2 Tablespoons lemon juice equal the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Make sure your pears are totally covered with the liquid. If not, make two different batches.
  • And yes, you can freeze them.

Voila!

poached pearsA simple recipe anyone can make. You don’t need any certificates, culinary education, or lots of practice. A perfect recipe. Poached pears for you, the diy home goddess. And you can print out the recipe here.

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GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

GARLIC MASHED POTATOTES

MASHED POTATOES

Not just mashed potatoes, but garlic mashed potatoes! What is better than that? I can’t think of too many dishes that are better than a correctly made garlic mash. I grew up on mashed potatoes, but once I tried it with garlic in it, I knew I was in love.

My Story

I have tried to make mashed potatoes correctly ever since I started learning how to cook. It didn’t matter what recipe I tried, they just didn’t turn out tasting as good as those in a great steakhouse.

  • I tried different seasonings.
  • I tried different levels of milk fat.
  • I tried butter versus margarine.
  • I tried different kinds of potatoes.
  • I tried peeling versus not peeling, whole versus chunked versus diced.
  • How to do the garlic, mashed, chopped, diced, cooked, not cooked, boiled or raw.
  • I tried a hand mixer versus the more powerful kitchenaid mixer. I had a masher, but never used it for that, because I thought it was not necessary.

Read more

The Crepe – A Learning Experience

THE CREPE EXPERIENCE

What Happened to My Crepe?

That is a very good question! Hopefully I can figure out the answer rather quickly, because the french crepe is a great thing to eat and experiment with.

Time for a confession. I tried to make crepes the other night. It’s my goal this year to try a new recipe each week, if at all possible. Which might be hard sometimes, when I have two roommates who don’t like trying unfamiliar foods. So I have to be very careful with my experiments.

Anyway, they were okay tasting, but a disaster to make and to look at! What had gone wrong? I don’t know!

First, the Crepe Batter

I had tried a batter mix I had gotten at Sur La Table. I have recipes to make them from scratch, but sometimes a goddess is in a hurry, or she is just flat out lazy. There is nothing wrong with mixes, as long as you don’t use them as a crutch to avoid making things 100% homemade.

I followed the recipe. The lady at the store had told me when they made them they put the batter in the fridge overnight. So I figured what would the harm be in putting the crepe batter in the fridge while I cooked the filling. Well, it was way too thick when I went to use it! The crepe batter would not swirl in the pan like it was supposed to. It was staying in the middle. When I tried to use enough batter to spread over the pan, they turned out too thick. This was not supposed to happen. Read more

Madeleines Take the Cake

 

MADELEINESMADELEINES

Madeleines! That wonderful, dense bite of cake that Parisians love. You can make these at home, instead of spending lots of money for average tasting ones in a store.

My Story

Madeleines

This was a find I was willing to pay for.

You all know I am obsessed with Julia Child. I have several of her PBS DVDs. I have the Art of Mastering French Cooking, both volumes. I have Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom. I found a signed copy of ‘The French Chef Cookbook’. It’s not a first edition, but I didn’t care. What did I care about? I was paying for this book (about $150) that was signed by both Julia and Paul Child. It was inscribed to a George, so I made up a story that I got it from a relative named George.

I have a goal this year of trying to make a new recipe each week. I have made a few; some things maybe too complex for this blog (like the croissants that took me 10 hours), or they just haven’t turned out right.

I wanted to learn to make madeleines because I absolutely love them. They can be addictive. I was tired of paying $3 for a set of 3 of them at Starbucks. Plus, I found a story in Bon Appetite magazine about a family who moved to France, and fell in love with these concoctions. Someone was telling me I had to give it a try. Read more