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This is my favorite Devil’s Food cake of all time. Ruth Reichl includes it in her memoir, TENDER AT THE BONE.

You can also make it with Chocolate Fudge frosting but the Marshmallow is pretty great. Sometimes I’ve gilded the lily and does a fudge filling and with the marshmallow on top.
Ruth Reichl’s Devil’s Food Cake
Serves 15
Ingredients

Cake:
1 cup milk
3/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Frosting:
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Heat milk in small pan until bubbles begin to appear around edges. Remove from heat.

3. Mix cocoa and white sugar together in a small bowl and slowly beat in warm milk. Let cool.

4. Cream the butter with the brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture.

5. Mix dry ingredients together and gently blend into butter mixture.

6. Do not overheat.

7. Turn into 2 well-greased and floured 9-inch layer cake pans, and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until cake shrinks slightly from sides of pans and springs back when touched gently in the center. Cool on a rack for a few minutes, then turn out onto rack.

8. Wait until completely cool before frosting.

9. Seven-minute Frosting.

10. Combine egg whites, sugar, water, cream of tartar, and salt in top of double boiler. Set over simmering water and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, until soft peaks are formed. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Keep beating until frosting is stiff enough to spread. Use immediately. This looks like a lot, but use it all; it is enough to fill and frost the cake.

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Leftover Easter lamb, why not make lamb hash?

This recipe is an adaptation of a great James Beard roast beef hash I’ve been making for years.
Lamb Hash  
Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil
4 cups Yukon gold potatoes
2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cups leftover roast lamb, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs, fried
Directions
1. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to  a boil and and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. A knife should easily slip into them. Drain. When cool, slip skins off the potatoes dice into 1/4 inch cubes.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown. 

3. Add the onion and cook for another 10 minutes, or until they are very soft. Add the lamb, garlic, thyme, cayenne, and rosemary. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Pour in the heavy cream, and stir until distributed. Then press down on the hash with the back of the of a spatula and cook for a final 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until very crispy and browned. Season with salt and pepper. Top each portion with a fried egg.

Leftover Easter lamb, why not make lamb hash?

This recipe is an adaptation of a great James Beard roast beef hash I’ve been making for years.

Lamb Hash  

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil

4 cups Yukon gold potatoes

2 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cups leftover roast lamb, diced in 1/4 inch cubes

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup heavy cream

4 eggs, fried

Directions

1. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to  a boil and and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. A knife should easily slip into them. Drain. When cool, slip skins off the potatoes dice into 1/4 inch cubes.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown.

3. Add the onion and cook for another 10 minutes, or until they are very soft. Add the lamb, garlic, thyme, cayenne, and rosemary. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Pour in the heavy cream, and stir until distributed. Then press down on the hash with the back of the of a spatula and cook for a final 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until very crispy and browned. Season with salt and pepper. Top each portion with a fried egg.

Photoset

After a special request for cookies, I’m taking homemade biscotti to a friend’s house tonight.

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Braised Lamb Shoulder
 
Ingredients
 
5 1/2 pound shoulder of lamb, bone in
Sea salt and pepper
Handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
Anchovies
Head of garlic, broken into cloves
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 sticks of celery cut into pieces
1 large or 2 large leeks,  trimmed and cut into pieces
2 bay leaves
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
Savory
2 bird chilies
Parsley
1 35 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1 bottle red wine
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 450 F. 
 
2. Rub lamb with salt and pepper and put into a roasting pan. Make small incisions in lamb and put garlic, rosemary, and anchovy into each one. Add the rest of the garlic cloves, onions, carrots, celery leeks, bay leaves, herbs, chilies, parsley into the pan and tuck the remaining herbs under meat.  
 
3. Pour the canned tomatoes over the top, followed by the wine. Cover the pan tightly with a double layer of foil and a lid and put it into the oven. Turn down the oven to 300 F and cook for 4 hours. 
 
4. Pull out the herb stalks etc. Check seasoning. Cool and refrigerate overnight or for 48 hours and then de-fat. If necessary reduce the sauce with the meat in the pot to thicken the sauce. This may take an hour or two. 
 
5. Eventually, cover loosely and leave over very low heat until ready to serve. Serve with noodles and optionally with sautéed broccoli rabe and roasted onions.
 

 

Braised Lamb Shoulder

 

Ingredients

 

5 1/2 pound shoulder of lamb, bone in

Sea salt and pepper

Handful of fresh rosemary sprigs

Anchovies

Head of garlic, broken into cloves

2 red onions, peeled and quartered

4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 sticks of celery cut into pieces

1 large or 2 large leeks,  trimmed and cut into pieces

2 bay leaves

Handful of fresh thyme sprigs

Savory

2 bird chilies

Parsley

1 35 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

1 bottle red wine

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

 

2. Rub lamb with salt and pepper and put into a roasting pan. Make small incisions in lamb and put garlic, rosemary, and anchovy into each one. Add the rest of the garlic cloves, onions, carrots, celery leeks, bay leaves, herbs, chilies, parsley into the pan and tuck the remaining herbs under meat.  

 

3. Pour the canned tomatoes over the top, followed by the wine. Cover the pan tightly with a double layer of foil and a lid and put it into the oven. Turn down the oven to 300 F and cook for 4 hours.

 

4. Pull out the herb stalks etc. Check seasoning. Cool and refrigerate overnight or for 48 hours and then de-fat. If necessary reduce the sauce with the meat in the pot to thicken the sauce. This may take an hour or two.

 

5. Eventually, cover loosely and leave over very low heat until ready to serve. Serve with noodles and optionally with sautéed broccoli rabe and roasted onions.


 

 

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SCALLION PANCAKES WITH GINGER-SCALLION DIPPING SAUCE

Scallion Pancakes
Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
About 3 teaspoons fine salt
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
Up to 1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup sliced scallions including green tops
1/2  cup neutral oil or as needed
Ginger-Scallion dipping sauce, recipe below

Directions
1. Mix flour and 1 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl; pour in boiling water and quickly mix together until water is absorbed. Work in the sesame oil and then the cold water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, into flour mixture just until dough forms. Knead dough for 10 minutes. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let dough rest for 40 minutes.
2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface; divide into 4 equal pieces.
3. Roll 1 piece of dough into a large thin round; brush the top with vegetable oil and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 of the scallions. Pick up 1 end of the round and roll dough around scallions into a long scroll-shape. Take 1 scroll end and roll dough into a disk. Repeat with remaining dough, letting each disk rest for 10 minutes.
4. Heat about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Place 1 disk on a floured surface and roll into a 1/2-inch thick round; cook in the hot oil until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining disks.

Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce
Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions, including green tops
1/4 cup grated or finely minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
4 teaspoons light soy
2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste

Directions
1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Let rest for at least 15-20 minutes and then adjust salt and other seasonings to taste.

SCALLION PANCAKES WITH GINGER-SCALLION DIPPING SAUCE


Scallion Pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

About 3 teaspoons fine salt

3/4 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

Up to 1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup sliced scallions including green tops

1/2  cup neutral oil or as needed

Ginger-Scallion dipping sauce, recipe below

Directions

1. Mix flour and 1 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl; pour in boiling water and quickly mix together until water is absorbed. Work in the sesame oil and then the cold water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, into flour mixture just until dough forms. Knead dough for 10 minutes. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let dough rest for 40 minutes.

2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface; divide into 4 equal pieces.

3. Roll 1 piece of dough into a large thin round; brush the top with vegetable oil and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 of the scallions. Pick up 1 end of the round and roll dough around scallions into a long scroll-shape. Take 1 scroll end and roll dough into a disk. Repeat with remaining dough, letting each disk rest for 10 minutes.

4. Heat about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Place 1 disk on a floured surface and roll into a 1/2-inch thick round; cook in the hot oil until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining disks.


Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions, including green tops

1/4 cup grated or finely minced peeled fresh ginger

1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

4 teaspoons light soy

2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

Directions

1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Let rest for at least 15-20 minutes and then adjust salt and other seasonings to taste.

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April Bloomfield’s Summer Ribollita
Serves 6
Ingredients
Fresh cannellini beans 225g Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and finely choppedHead of celery 1 whole, cleaned and finely diced (reserve the bright yellow leaves)Carrot 1 medium, peeled and finely dicedRed onions 2 medium, peeled, finely dicedPequin chillis 4 dry, crushed (or 2 standard dried red chillis) Olive oil 55ml Heirloom tomatoes 450g, blanched, peeled Flat leaf parsley 2 handfuls or marjoram loosely packed and then roughly choppedSwiss chard 575g, stems removed and roughly choppedStale Italian bread enough to cover the cooking pot in one even layer when sliced about 1cm thickSea salt, black pepper and olive oil to finish
Directions
1. Place the fresh, uncooked beans in a pot and add just enough water to cover them. Then add half as much water again. Bring the water to the boil and turn down to a low simmer and cook until tender, but not mushy. Allow the beans to cool in their liquid.
2. If using dried beans, add water to cover and then add the same amount again. Cook as you would fresh beans but be aware that dried beans will take significantly longer to cook.
3. To make the soup, in a wide saucepan, fry the garlic, celery, carrot, onion and chillis in the olive oil over a medium heat.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, squeeze the tomatoes over a bowl to release their seeds and juice. Make sure to get all of the seeds out. Strain the seeds from the tomato liquid and reserve the juice. Discard the seeds.
5. After cooking the vegetables for about 30 minutes, until they are soft and lightly caramelised, add the parsley (or marjoram) and fry for another 5 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes with their liquid, and beat the tomatoes with a whisk. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes over a low heat. The tomato liquid should be absorbed by the other vegetables and your soup should be, once again, fairly dry. Now add the beans along with their cooking liquid and cook over a low heat, simmering for 20-25 minutes, or until the soup comes together: the various components should move together when stirred, but the soup should still be moist from the beans’ cooking liquid. Add the chard and fold it into the soup. Cover the surface of the pot with the bread and pour just enough hot water over it all to moisten the bread. Give the bread a generous drizzle of good olive oil and remove the pot from the heat. Let the soup sit unattended for 10 minutes, then stir to combine. It should be thick and delicious. Season with salt and pepper.

Follow Gail on Twitter: @GailMonaghanNYC
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April Bloomfield’s Summer Ribollita

Serves 6

Ingredients

Fresh cannellini beans 225g
Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Head of celery 1 whole, cleaned and finely diced (reserve the bright yellow leaves)
Carrot 1 medium, peeled and finely diced
Red onions 2 medium, peeled, finely diced
Pequin chillis 4 dry, crushed (or 2 standard dried red chillis)
Olive oil 55ml
Heirloom tomatoes 450g, blanched, peeled
Flat leaf parsley 2 handfuls or marjoram loosely packed and then roughly chopped
Swiss chard 575g, stems removed and roughly chopped
Stale Italian bread enough to cover the cooking pot in one even layer when sliced about 1cm thick
Sea salt, black pepper and olive oil to finish

Directions

1. Place the fresh, uncooked beans in a pot and add just enough water to cover them. Then add half as much water again. Bring the water to the boil and turn down to a low simmer and cook until tender, but not mushy. Allow the beans to cool in their liquid.

2. If using dried beans, add water to cover and then add the same amount again. Cook as you would fresh beans but be aware that dried beans will take significantly longer to cook.

3. To make the soup, in a wide saucepan, fry the garlic, celery, carrot, onion and chillis in the olive oil over a medium heat.

4. While the vegetables are cooking, squeeze the tomatoes over a bowl to release their seeds and juice. Make sure to get all of the seeds out. Strain the seeds from the tomato liquid and reserve the juice. Discard the seeds.

5. After cooking the vegetables for about 30 minutes, until they are soft and lightly caramelised, add the parsley (or marjoram) and fry for another 5 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes with their liquid, and beat the tomatoes with a whisk. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes over a low heat. The tomato liquid should be absorbed by the other vegetables and your soup should be, once again, fairly dry. Now add the beans along with their cooking liquid and cook over a low heat, simmering for 20-25 minutes, or until the soup comes together: the various components should move together when stirred, but the soup should still be moist from the beans’ cooking liquid. Add the chard and fold it into the soup. Cover the surface of the pot with the bread and pour just enough hot water over it all to moisten the bread. Give the bread a generous drizzle of good olive oil and remove the pot from the heat. Let the soup sit unattended for 10 minutes, then stir to combine. It should be thick and delicious. Season with salt and pepper.

Follow Gail on Twitter: @GailMonaghanNYC

Follow Gail on Facebook: Gail Monaghan

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I rushed out and bought Patricia Wells’s The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris in 1984 the minute the first edition came out. It was a revelation, encouraging me to get to know the city in a whole new light. I’ve purchased each succeeding edition and have been taking one or another to Paris every time I visit.

When a fifth edition came out last month,  once again I had to have it. This most recent version is requisite for any food-lover’s first visit to Paris as well as for those of you who view the French capitol  as a second home. I can’t wait to check out Wells’ updated culinary hotspots, specialty shops, restaurants and bakeries. The book even has a French-to-English food dictionary to help when ordering off a French menu. Click here to get your own version of The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris.

Follow Gail on Twitter: @GailMonaghanNYC
Follow Gail on Facebook: Gail Monaghan

I rushed out and bought Patricia Wells’s The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris in 1984 the minute the first edition came out. It was a revelation, encouraging me to get to know the city in a whole new light. I’ve purchased each succeeding edition and have been taking one or another to Paris every time I visit.

When a fifth edition came out last month,  once again I had to have it. This most recent version is requisite for any food-lover’s first visit to Paris as well as for those of you who view the French capitol  as a second home. I can’t wait to check out Wells’ updated culinary hotspots, specialty shops, restaurants and bakeries. The book even has a French-to-English food dictionary to help when ordering off a French menu. Click here to get your own version of The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris.

Follow Gail on Twitter: @GailMonaghanNYC

Follow Gail on Facebook: Gail Monaghan

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Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves 8

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces plus butter to grease the pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut into small piece
1 tablespoon instant espresso
5 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
Powdered sugar for garnish
Serve with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
1.  Preheat the oven to 325
2.  Butter and flour a 10-inch round spring form cake pan with 3-inch sides.
3.  Place the chocolate, butter and instant espresso over simmering water until melted, stirring occasionally.
4.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt and all but 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
5.  Stir the melted chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture.
6.  With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar and a pinch of salt on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar and beat until the whites are a bit stiffer. 
7.  Stir 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate mixture and then fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining beaten whites.
8.  Pour into the prepared pan.
9.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean, about an hour or an hour and a quarter. After 5 minutes remove the sides of the pan and the bottom after 30 minutes. As the cake cools it will fall and crack. Don’t worry. 
10. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

Follow Gail on Twitter: @GailMonaghanNYC
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Flourless Chocolate Cake

Serves 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces plus butter to grease the pan

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut into small piece

1 tablespoon instant espresso

5 large eggs, separated and at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sugar

Powdered sugar for garnish

Serve with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

1.  Preheat the oven to 325

2.  Butter and flour a 10-inch round spring form cake pan with 3-inch sides.

3.  Place the chocolate, butter and instant espresso over simmering water until melted, stirring occasionally.

4.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt and all but 3 tablespoons of the sugar.

5.  Stir the melted chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture.

6.  With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar and a pinch of salt on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar and beat until the whites are a bit stiffer.

7.  Stir 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate mixture and then fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining beaten whites.

8.  Pour into the prepared pan.

9.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean, about an hour or an hour and a quarter. After 5 minutes remove the sides of the pan and the bottom after 30 minutes. As the cake cools it will fall and crack. Don’t worry.

10. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

Follow Gail on Twitter: @GailMonaghanNYC

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I love chocolate just as much as the next person, but these four recipes are my odds on favorites (you can also find the recipes for each on my blog):

1. Fane

2. Chocolate-Peppermint Tarts with Currants and Berries

3. Ricotta Tart with Chocolate and Kumquats

4. Individual Chocolate Soufflés with Vanilla Creme Anglaise

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americastestkitchen:

America’s Test Kitchen has an on-call expert to help explain and solve the mysteries of the kitchen. Meet Guy Crosby the Food Science Guy. http://bit.ly/1kKxA61

americastestkitchen:

America’s Test Kitchen has an on-call expert to help explain and solve the mysteries of the kitchen. Meet Guy Crosby the Food Science Guy. http://bit.ly/1kKxA61