Stuart has combined recipes and techniques from Paula Wolfert’s Clay Pot Cooking book, Laura Pazzaglia’s Hip Pressure Cooking and depending on the result you want, an Alton Brown recipe to come up with his take on the classic recipe.
Soak the chickpeas in 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons coarse salt for 12 hours. Drain and rinse. Use right away or freeze for later use.
Cook the chickpeas either stovetop (about 1-2 hours), pressure cooker (40 minutes dried or 20 minutes soaked or brined) or, for the smoothest texture, in the slow cooker (4 hours on high or 8 hours on low). Drain the chickpeas, reserving ¼ C of the pot liquor.
Stir the tahini in the jar to make sure it is well blended. Place the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and cumin in a blender or food processor and blend until the mixture “whitens.” With the machine running, add the reserved pot liquor. Add 1 ¾ cups peeled chickpeas (reserving some whole ones for garnish if desired) and process until smooth and glossy. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice. Allow to mellow at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon flor blanca (Mexican Sea Salt)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Additional flor blanca
Put 8 ounces chocolate in metal bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is smooth. Remove chocolate. Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Increase heat; boil until syrup is deep amber color, brushing down sides and swirling pan occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add cream (mixture will bubble). Stir over very low heat until caramel is smooth. Mix caramel and 1/4 teaspoon flor blanca into melted chocolate. Chill until truffle filling is firm, at least 3 hours.
Place cocoa in bowl. Using 1 Tablespoon truffle filling for each truffle, roll into balls, then roll in cocoa. Arrange on baking sheet. Cover and chill overnight.
Line a 13x9x2-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Place remaining 12 ounces chocolate in medium metal bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth and thermometer inserted into chocolate registers 115°F. Remove bowl from over water. Working quickly, submerge 1 truffle in melted chocolate. Using fork, lift out truffle and tap fork against side of bowl to allow excess coating to drip off. Transfer truffle to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles. Sprinkle truffles lightly with additional flor blanca. Let stand until coating sets, at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Learning technique is the best way to learn how to cook. Susie Middleton does a superb job in Fast, Fresh and Green of teaching 10 different techniques for cooking veggie-centric meals (don’t worry, some of the recipes have meat!) One of our favorite ways to cook veg this time of year is roasting them. It really brings out the deep flavors and transforms them into something completely different from steaming or boiling them. Here is a great example:
10 oz. cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp towel, and either halved or quartered, depending on their size
12 oz. green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1/4 c olive oil
1 t salt
1 t olive oil
1 t minced garlic
1 t chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 4750. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the mushrooms with 2 T olive oil and 1/2 t salt. Spread the mushrooms in one layer on half of the baking sheet.
3. In the same mixing bowl, toss the green beans with 1 T olive oil and 1/2 t salt. Spread the green beans in one layer on the other half of the baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the cremini mushrooms are tender, shrunken, and darker brown, and the green beans are wrinkled and browned in spots.
4. Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 T and 1 t olive oil with the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to bubble, turn down to medium-low and cook for a minute to merge the flavors, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside.
5. Transfer the roasted veggies to a serving bowl and toss with the oil.
If you want to up your game and make your own bread, we have just the thing for you! We are proud to introduce the Ankarsrum Assistant, the ULTIMATE mixer for the home. Originally designed in Sweden in the 1940’s by Electrolux, the Assistant is still made in Sweden by the company that made many of the original parts and the motor, Ankarsrum, who also make the motor assembly for Vita-Mix blenders. It uses a belt-driven motor, which is more efficient and quieter than gear motors. The motor is 600 watts, and at 7 quarts the stainless steel bowl can accommodate a recipe that makes 12 POUNDS of dough! While it comes with a dough hook, the roller and scraper attachments allow for a gentler kneading for those recipes that need it.
Ashley from Ankarum USA, who has been baking since she was 12, has shared this recipe for a Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan Bread made in the Emile Henry Cloche that would make a delicious panino!
Place the cloche base in the oven and preheat to 400º.**
Position stainless steel bowl on the Ankarsrum and put scraper and dough roller into place. Dough roller should be resting against the side of the bowl. Start by adding water, oil, honey, salt, and gluten into the stainless steel bowl. Turn machine on, allowing liquids to mix on the slowest speed (speed knob set to 12 o’clock) for about 1 minute. Add approximately half the amount of flour as well as the yeast. Turn speed up to a low/medium speed (about 2 o’clock) and add another cup of flour. Adjust the arm/roller away from the side of the bowl and lock it in place, so that the roller is applying gentle pressure to the dough as it passes between it and the side of the bowl. Add the last cup of flour and adjust speed to a medium speed (about 4 o’clock). Add the tomatoes and cheese and set the timer on the Ankarsrum for 4-6 minutes.
The Ankarsrum will turn off automatically when the timer runs out. Once the dough has been kneaded, let it rest in the stainless steel bowl for 10 minutes. This will make it easier to shape. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Taking the edge of the dough, fold it towards the middle, pressing down with the heal of your hand. Rotate the dough around so that you fold the other side in towards the middle until you have formed a smooth ball. Place dough ball (ugly side down) in the center of the hot cloche base, slash dough if desired, place dome on top of base and place in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until crust is golden brown. [If using for Panini, go for the lesser amount of time with the lid off so the crust doesn’t get too crunchy!—Stuart]
Yields: 1 (2 pound) loaf of bread
*Cook’s Note: To use freshly milled or store bought whole wheat flour, I recommend using a hard white wheat flour. Due to the amount of moisture in freshly milled whole wheat flour, I recommend reducing the water to 1 1/2 cup for this recipe.
**Cook’s Note: Every oven is different. If you know your oven runs a bit hot, bake this recipe at 350º.
4 pork chops, 1 inch thick
Napa Valley Rub
Olive Oil (or other cooking oil)
Salt and Pepper to taste
First, mix your Napa Valley rub, some olive oil, and some salt and pepper together in a bowl. Using a barbecue brush, cover each pork chop with the mixture. Seal them in a vacuum-sealed bag and drop them into a sous vide cooker at 143 degrees for an hour. In the sous vide, the chops will cook slowly while retaining their moisture; the flavors of the rub will have plenty of time to penetrate the chop while keeping it tender.
After an hour, remove the chops from the sous vide, cut them out of the bag, and sear them in a cast iron pan on medium high heat, about 2 minutes a side. As the chops are already cooked and very tender, the idea is to get them just the right amount of crisp on the outside while retaining the juiciness the sous vide provides. Set the chops aside and mix the pork’s juices in the pan with a little stock, feeling free to add a bit of fresh Napa Valley rub to the mix. Pour the stock and juice mixture over your pork chop, and voilà —you have avoided the nightmare of a tough, dry, overcooked pork chop!
We love this take on elote, a Mexican snack and popular street food of grilled corn with crema and chile powder. In this version, the crema is replaced by blue cheese, adding an earthy element to the sweet, smoke and spice.
4 Ears corn
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
½ Cup crumbled blue cheese (2 oz.)
Remove the husks and silk each ear of corn, rinse well and pat dry. Brush each ear of corn with butter and sprinkle with salt. Wrap each ear separately in aluminum foil, twisting the ends to seal tightly.
Place the ears on the grid and close the lid. Grill, turning occasionally, for 45 minutes or until corn is tender.
Remove the corn from the grid and remove the foil. Sprinkle each ear with ¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder and 2 tablespoons cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4.