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Anyone who knows me knows how much I love ice cream, and the latest book by James Beard Award winning ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer hits the spot, especially in this newly-hot weather. With over thirty brand-new flavors—from Whiskey Caramel and Honey Spiked with Chilies to Cumin & Honey Butterscotch and Extra-Strength Root Beer—each spoonful of ice cream is delicious. Try Bauer’s foolproof recipes for a unique batch of ice cream each time. Click here to get Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love ice cream, and the latest book by James Beard Award winning ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer hits the spot, especially in this newly-hot weather.

With over thirty brand-new flavors—from Whiskey Caramel and Honey Spiked with Chilies to Cumin & Honey Butterscotch and Extra-Strength Root Beer—each spoonful of ice cream is delicious.

Try Bauer’s foolproof recipes for a unique batch of ice cream each time. Click here to get Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts.

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I spent last weekend at the gorgeous house-cum-gardens of a friend near Great Barrington.

Dinner Saturday night was deliciouscatered by  Mezze Restaurant Group who own both Mezze in Williamstown and Allium in Great Barrington—and the table gorgeous, at least partially due to the spectacular flowers from my friend’s cutting garden. An example par excellence of farm to table décor.

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Brunch Sunday was delicious and really fun. There were nine of us and enough food for ninety-nine. Everyone contributed: delicious chicken sausages with a side of caramelized fennel and figs; a homemade quiche; corn pudding (that I actually brought from New York), octopus and chickpea salad; green peas, haricots verts and sugar snaps with an orange vinaigrette; a delicious new-to-me dish of green tomatoes, cumin and pumpkin seeds; and the best of all were open-faced sandwiches of fresh plums, lemon mayo, crispy bacon and melty gruyere. Dessert was so good I dove right in and forgot to take a picture, but FYI the divine polenta cake studded with nectarines and enhanced by a local peach ice cream provided an unbeatable finale.

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This method of roasting fish—beyond easy and foolproof—works well for halibut, salmon and most other large fish fillets as well as for cod. You can even cook the fish ahead of time and then when time to serve,  top with this truly special fennel and fig pan-roast or myriad other toppings including tomato and/or corn salad, sautéed mushrooms or bell peppers, fresh succotash or any other summer veggie combination you care to dream up.


ROASTED COD WITH CARAMELIZED FENNEL AND FRESH FIGS 
Serves 8-10

For the fish:

4 pounds cod fillet, skin removed1/4 cup olive oil1/2 teaspoon fine salt or more to taste1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperFinely grated zest of 1 lemon For the vegetables

3 large bulbs fresh fennel, trimmed and cut into eighths vertically4 large red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each1 head of garlic, broken into cloves, unpeeled1-2 organic lemons, sliced into very thin rounds, seeds removed 2 teaspoons whole coriander seed1 tablespoon whole fennel seed1/2 cup extra virgin olive oilApproximately 1/3 cup fish stock, vegetable stock or waterSalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste1 basket fresh ripe figs, trimmed and halved vertically1/2 cup chopped cilantro (can substitute chopped parsley if desired) for garnish
For the fish: 

Stir together the olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest and rub it all over the fish. Set aside or refrigerate if not using within two hours. For the Vegetables:

1. Preheat the oven to 450F

2. Toss the fennel, red onions, garlic cloves, lemon slices, coriander seeds and fennel seeds together with the olive oil in a very large ovenproof skillet or flameproof roasting pan. Two skillets or pans can be used if necessary. 

3. Place in the preheated oven and cook, stirring occasionally about 45 minutes and till the vegetables are tender and deeply caramelized,.

4. Remove from oven add the stock or water. Stir in the figs, salt and pepper. RECIPE CAN BE COMPLETED UP TO THIS POINT UP TO 4 HOURS AHEAD. Return to the oven, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until the figs are hot.

5. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil.

6. Raise the oven temperature as high as it will go (500 or 525 on most ovens). Place a baking sheet in the oven for ten minutes.

7. Place the fish on the hot baking sheet. It will sizzle.

8. Bake until the juices from the fish turn from clear to opaque, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish and the temperature of the oven.

9. Remove from the oven and transfer the fish to a large platter.

10. Reheat the vegetables in the hot oven for five minutes and then place attractively on top of and around the fish. Garnish with the cilantro and serve. Note: If you have two ovens you can preheat the second oven and the baking sheet and start cooking the fish just before you add the figs to the vegetable mixture.

This method of roasting fish—beyond easy and foolproofworks well for halibut, salmon and most other large fish fillets as well as for cod. You can even cook the fish ahead of time and then when time to serve,  top with this truly special fennel and fig pan-roast or myriad other toppings including tomato and/or corn salad, sautéed mushrooms or bell peppers, fresh succotash or any other summer veggie combination you care to dream up.

ROASTED COD WITH CARAMELIZED FENNEL AND FRESH FIGS 

Serves 8-10

For the fish:

4 pounds cod fillet, skin removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine salt or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
 
For the vegetables

3 large bulbs fresh fennel, trimmed and cut into eighths vertically
4 large red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves, unpeeled
1-2 organic lemons, sliced into very thin rounds, seeds removed 
2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
1 tablespoon whole fennel seed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Approximately 1/3 cup fish stock, vegetable stock or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 basket fresh ripe figs, trimmed and halved vertically
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (can substitute chopped parsley if desired) for garnish

For the fish: 

Stir together the olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest and rub it all over the fish. Set aside or refrigerate if not using within two hours.
 
For the Vegetables:

1. Preheat the oven to 450F

2. Toss the fennel, red onions, garlic cloves, lemon slices, coriander seeds and fennel seeds together with the olive oil in a very large ovenproof skillet or flameproof roasting pan. Two skillets or pans can be used if necessary. 

3. Place in the preheated oven and cook, stirring occasionally about 45 minutes and till the vegetables are tender and deeply caramelized,.

4. Remove from oven add the stock or water. Stir in the figs, salt and pepper. RECIPE CAN BE COMPLETED UP TO THIS POINT UP TO 4 HOURS AHEAD. Return to the oven, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until the figs are hot.

5. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil.

6. Raise the oven temperature as high as it will go (500 or 525 on most ovens). Place a baking sheet in the oven for ten minutes.

7. Place the fish on the hot baking sheet. It will sizzle.

8. Bake until the juices from the fish turn from clear to opaque, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish and the temperature of the oven.

9. Remove from the oven and transfer the fish to a large platter.

10. Reheat the vegetables in the hot oven for five minutes and then place attractively on top of and around the fish. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.
 
Note: If you have two ovens you can preheat the second oven and the baking sheet and start cooking the fish just before you add the figs to the vegetable mixture.

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What I love most about my KitchenAid mixer is that I’ve had it for 25 years. Because I use it for all my baking, whipping up a batch of cookies or scones, a multi-layered cake, or even pie dough is child’s play.

Click here to get your own.

What I love most about my KitchenAid mixer is that I’ve had it for 25 years. Because I use it for all my baking, whipping up a batch of cookies or scones, a multi-layered cake, or even pie dough is child’s play.

Click here to get your own.
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For most of the 1990’s I made cookies, cocktail biscuits and scones in my Manhattan kitchen and sold them to several NYC eateries including Dean & DeLuca and Felissimo.

My young daughters helped with butter painting and sugar sprinkling, and it really was a warm and cozy time in our lives.

Years later for the holidays, I made truffled almonds in gift boxes for Petrossian and my wholesale food career had a short-lived rebound. They were delicious and remarkably easy to make. For anyone who wants to give them a try, here’s the recipe. Keep in mind that put in jars and refrigerated, they keep for months.

Truffled Almonds

Ingredients
 
1 pound blanched almonds
2-3 tablespoons black truffle oil
1-2 teaspoons (or more to taste) truffle salt

Directions
 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place the almonds on a baking sheet (with sides) and toss with the truffle oil.

3. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven until golden, approximately ten minutes. Watch carefully so the nuts do not burn.

4. Remove pan from the oven and immediately toss the almonds with the truffle salt.

5. When completely cool, store the nuts in an airtight container. They will keep for months in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature before serving with champagne or cocktails.

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The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2014 cookbook is one of Amazon’s top 10 bestselling cookbooks.  For aspiring chefs, there are how-to instructions for both simple and classic recipes and illustrations demonstrating essential cooking techniques.I’ve given the book to many friends who are also fans of the America’s Test Kitchen TV show. Click here  to get your own. 

The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2014 cookbook is one of Amazon’s top 10 bestselling cookbooks.  For aspiring chefs, there are how-to instructions for both simple and classic recipes and illustrations demonstrating essential cooking techniques.

I’ve given the book to many friends who are also fans of the America’s Test Kitchen TV show. Click here  to get your own. 

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bhgfood:

Sausage and Sweet Pepper Hash: Sunny-side-up eggs instantly perk up this healthy hash — you’ll never miss breakfast again. (BHG.com)

bhgfood:

Sausage and Sweet Pepper Hash: Sunny-side-up eggs instantly perk up this healthy hash — you’ll never miss breakfast again. (BHG.com)

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M.F.K. Fisher is one of America’s foremost and most inspirational food writers. The new 50th Anniversary Edition of The Art of Eating contains what Julia Child referred to as “the essence of M.F.K. Fisher.” This 784-page book comprises a most of Fisher’s major work including, ”Consider the Oyster,” “Serve It Forth,” “How to Cook a Wolf,” “The Gastronomical Me” and “An Alphabet for Gourmets.” I love all of Fisher’s writing, but my personal favorite is “Consider the Oyster.”Click here  to get your own.

M.F.K. Fisher is one of America’s foremost and most inspirational food writers. The new 50th Anniversary Edition of The Art of Eating contains what Julia Child referred to as “the essence of M.F.K. Fisher.” 

This 784-page book comprises a most of Fisher’s major work including, ”Consider the Oyster,” “Serve It Forth,” “How to Cook a Wolf,” “The Gastronomical Me” and “An Alphabet for Gourmets.” I love all of Fisher’s writing, but my personal favorite is “Consider the Oyster.”

Click here  to get your own.

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In “G is for Gluttony,” a chapter in An Alphabet for Gourmets, M.F.K. Fisher compares Diamond Jim Brady to an Olympic athlete based on his superhuman capacity for eating. Citing a well-worn anecdote in which Brady downed nine servings of Sole Marguery in one sitting, Fisher writes, “I myself would like to be able to eat that much of something I really delighted in, and can recognize overtones of envy in the way lesser mortals so easily damned Brady as a glutton even in the days excess when he flourished.”

In “G is for Gluttony,” a chapter in An Alphabet for Gourmets, M.F.K. Fisher compares Diamond Jim Brady to an Olympic athlete based on his superhuman capacity for eating. Citing a well-worn anecdote in which Brady downed nine servings of Sole Marguery in one sitting, Fisher writes, “I myself would like to be able to eat that much of something I really delighted in, and can recognize overtones of envy in the way lesser mortals so easily damned Brady as a glutton even in the days excess when he flourished.”