Thursday, June 30, 2011

Roasted Turkey Breasts

I love turkey, but am not always in the mood to roast a whole bird. When turkey breasts came on sale a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to have a nice turkey dinner without all of the fuss.

Serves 6-8

1 whole turkey breast, bone in (thawed if frozen) about 4-5 lbs or 1.75- 2 kilos
1/2 cup butter (113 grams)
1/4 cup white wine or apple juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 325 F (176 C). Place turkey, skin side up on a rack in a large, shallow roasting pan. Roast uncovered 1 hour.
Mix butter, wine, thyme, salt , paprika and garlic. Brush turkey with half of the butter mixture. Roast 30 minutes; brush with remaining butter mixture. Roast about an hour longer or until your meat thermometer reads 165 F (73 C). Remove turkey from the oven and let it stand for 15 minutes. In the meantime, take the pan drippings and skim the fat off of the top. Add enough water to drippings to measure out about 2 cups. Heat water and drippings in a saucepan until boiling. In a small cup, mix in cornstarch and 2 Tbsp cold water and once they are thoroughly mixed, add to the drippings. Boil and stir for 1 minute, serve gravy with turkey.

Friday, June 24, 2011


From my Mom

I have a serious weakness for brownies. Especially warm gooey ones like these. My mom has made these all growing up and even though the recipe is so simple, it is still my favorite. I made a rule long ago that I could only make these when we had friends over or else I end up taking a little sliver here and a piece there until the whole pan is gone. It's a very grave problem. But that is what happens when brownies are this good.

Makes enough for me! or 8-10 normal people.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
10 Tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C). Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time and then mix in flour and chocolate chips. Pour batter in a prepared 9x12 inch (23x30 cm) baking pan and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Tart

from Hot Polka Dot

All of the cherry trees in my neighborhood are ripening right now. Deep red, lovely cherries everywhere you look. I have had to resist the urge many times to help myself to my neighbor's trees and last week I finally had to buy a box at the store. With so many to eat, I made this dessert one night on a whim. It was so divine that we had to fight over the leftovers the next day... so good that it's dangerous!

makes one 12 inch tart

1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 egg

12 ounces (350 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2-3 Tbsp chopped hazelnuts (I had to use walnuts, but it was still very good!)
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted

Mix together flour, cocoa, ground hazelnuts, powdered sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg a little bit at a time, mixing a little bit after each addition. The dough will appear granular at first and after a few mixes it should begin to clump together.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead it together gently until it begins to hold together. Try not to handle it as little as possible. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for a few hours.

Once ready, butter a 12 inch round tart pan and set it aside. Sandwich the dough between 1 large sheets of wax paper and roll it out into a 15 inch circle. (Rolling it out with wax paper reduces cracks and mess and makes it easier to turn it over into the pan). Place the dough in the tart pan, firmly pressing into the corners of the pan. Pierce the dough a few times with a fork and put it in the freezer for half an hour.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees (190 C) and butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil. When ready, fit the buttered side down tightly against the inside of the tart shell. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake it for an additional 10 minutes. Take it out and let it cool completely before filling.

To make the filling, put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it aside. In a small saucepan combine the cream and butter and heat it on medium until it just begins to boil. Then pour the mixture over the chocolate, cover it and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate unti lit all melts and you're left with a smooth pudding like consistency. Pour into the cooled tart shell and smooth it out with a spatula. Top with cherries and chopped nuts and put it in the fridge until ready to serve. I left mine in there for an hour or so and it really helped the filling firm up.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pork Chops with Sour Cream Sauce

adapted from

We just got a grill. Hooray! It's just a little one and nothing fancy but it's so nice to cook and eat outside. Last night I wanted to try something a little different with grilled pork chops and this sauce was just the ticket. It had nice flavor, was simple to put together and tasted great with rice.

4 pork loin chops
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp salt
2 medium onions
1.5 cup beef stock
1 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp black pepper
parsley (fresh if you can get it!)

Combine sage, salt and pepper and rub the chops on both sides with the mixture. Grill until meat is cooked through.

In a saucepan grill onions until soft, then add beef stock and stir in the sour cream until smooth. Simmer for several minutes, add flour to thicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with rice or wide egg noodles.