Annie gave me a Maple Cube two days ago when we met to work on a family project. “The quintessential maple cube can be grated over fresh berries, yogurt, ice cream, or your cappuccio.” LIke the RCA Victor Dog: whaaa? I’d never seen or heard of one, but was determined to put it to immediate use, grating it over oatmeal. Which left extra oatmeal. Which I was also determined to put to use.
We have a couple of really good fish markets in Portland, Maine. My favorites are Harbor Fish and Brown Trading. The folks at both establishments are friendly and knowledgable, but at Brown Trading one can get samples of smoked fish which is sometimes served on crostini they make from Standard Bakery’s baguettes.
Gluten free folks aren’t shopping at Standard, but they can order delicious chewy baguettes from Sweet Christine’s Bakery in Pennsylvania. Yep, they’re expensive; yep, they’re worth the price. Happily Brown Trading shared their crostini recipe with us a couple of years ago. And now it’s yours!
We’ve tried lots of other gluten free breads and more than a few baguettes. Interestingly Cooks Illustrated has finally reviewed gluten free breads. We pretty much agree with their findings, but hope you have a baker who’s mixing bread dough in a conveniently located dedicated GF bakery. If not: Udi’s!
1 GF baguette or 4 GF bagels, sliced into 1/8″ pieces
1/3 cup good quality organic unsalted butter
1/3 cup good quality virgin olive oil
fresh ground salt
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
2. Lay the slices of bread on an un-greased baking sheet.
3. Melt the butter over a low heat and add the olive oil. Swirl to blend.
4. Brush the bottoms and tops of the bread slices with the butter/olive oil blend. Make certain to used a GF dedicated pastry brush.
5. Grate a little salt over each of the bread slices.
6. Cook at 425 F for 3 minutes, turn the bread slices and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remember that most good GF bread contains egg, so don’t over toast the crostini as the taste easily go to (burnt.)
Enjoy with cheese, hummus, or a bit of lobster salad!
1. Apricots top the fruit section of a “Healthy Food Hot List: The 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet.
2. I love apricots.
3. Last summerNPR’s The Splendid Table profiled Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home , which led me to reinvest in an electric ice cream maker. Went right to William’s Sonoma and splurged on a Cuisinart. It’s a lot of fun to experiment with the science of ice cream according to Jeni.
4. Apricots are in season and better than ever.
If I were having Father’s Day dinner with my dad, he’d suggest Indian Pudding, Blueberry Pie, or Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert. We’d pull out Fanny Farmer, a classic New England cookbook, or harvest his mother’s kitchen notes for a recipe. Dad’s got most of his favorites memorized, but we’d look through a book anyway. And he’d opt for Hard Sauce as a topping, but settle for whipped cream.
The Fresh Cherry signs are in front of roadside produce stands in California and the Pacific Northwest. It looks and tastes like a banner season! The subject of traditional Clafoutis came up last week. Now is the perfect time to make it. I’ve never used un-pitted cherries, but since that’s the traditional method and it’s suggested leaving the cherries intact results in more flavor, we decided to try it. Don’t want to work at the plate? The folks at Cooks Illustrated like the the Progressive Cherry-It Pitter.
“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor”, 18th century poet and writer William Cowper.
I like to try a little bit of of everything: a spoonful of lemon curd on a small scone, one egg scrambled with cheese, a slice of smoked salmon, a taste of greek yogurt with honey, almonds, and a few dried cherries, a cappuccino…. Breakfast like a “king”, right? Cooking and taste testing as a profession could lead one down a widening path. Someone British is credited with cautioning: never trust a thin chef.
Number 1: I’m not an accredited “chef”.
Number 2: I’m determined to stay in my favorite jeans.
Number 3: Never be wider than your yoga mat.
Number 4: Containers of provisions are stored above my desk for easy access. Right of “Joy”: chocolate chips.
Last month (channeling Julia Child) we wrote about our favorite glass bowls , small squares that make much of the above possible. Yesterday someone sent me a link to advice about how to reduce the amount we eat. I recognized a few of the tips and learned some new ones, like: we are less likely to eat something if it’s out of sight and out of reach. Trust me on this: you’ll discover a few interesting things about the psychological science of dining.
A college friend moved from France to Mill Valley a couple of years ago so I get to see more of her. Last week she served us this salad with cold chardonnay: a perfect lunch inspired by her California and Continental sensibilities. It calls for the fresh herbs that must have grown wonderfully in her Boursay garden. Typical of people confident in the kitchen, Vic sent me a marketing list of ingredients, implicit permission to lean in one direction or another. We suggest amounts, but feel free to add or omit as you like.
After the success of Uncle Howards Chocolate Ganache Tart, we have become increasingly interested in raw, healthy, gluten free sweets. They are easily made, quick to clean up, and surprisingly rich. The best part is indulging in something decadent and flavorful without worrying about one’s health. One slice of Blueberry Banana “Cream” Pie leaves us more satisfied than most desserts that are loaded with sugar, dairy, and gluten: remarkable!
Blueberry bushes in Maine are starting to flower. But, the baskets of berries from southern climes are too hard to resist while we wait for local roadside stands to offer local fresh-picked. This is an amazingly satisfying way to enjoy what’s now in the markets.
My first lobster roll of the season is at Jennifer’s home in late May or early June. A couple of years ago she started serving the salad on thick slices of ripe tomato when she noticed we were leaving buns on our plates to save room for extra chips, wine, and/or dessert. Last week, bolstered by a tour of Epicurious’ site, she made it extra special with the inclusion of fresh tarragon.