Onion Soup and Gruyère Crostini

Onion Soup and Gruyère Crostini
Epicurious | February 2009

1 pound yellow onions, halved and thinly cut lengthwise
3 to 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef stock
1 cup water
1 1/2-inch-thick slice of ciabatta bread cut in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss Gruyère cheese

In a heavy 5-quart pot melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until the onions are deep amber and exceedingly soft, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the wine, increase the heat, and let the wine bubble away for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef stock and water, and let the soup simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to broil. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Place the ciabatta on the middle rack of the oven and toast until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the soup and discard. Pour the soup into two ovenproof bowls, float the toasted ciabatta on top, and cover it with a thick layer of the Gruyère. Put the soup bowls under the broiler on the middle rack and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and golden.

Classic Gazpacho

Classic Gazpacho

3-4 large tomatoes, halved
1 slice country-style bread, crust removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 c)
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, diced
1 cup chopped peeled cucumber (seeds removed)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tsp Sherry wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tsp cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 avacado- sliced

In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth- adjust seasoning and serve with sliced avocado.

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Makes one 9-inch loaf

1# zucchini- shredded on large box grater, toss with 1/2 tsp salt, place in colander and allow to drain 20 minutes. Then, place in clean dishtowel and squeeze excess moisture out.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c pecan pieces
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c plain yogurt (or sour cream)
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 Tbls lemon juice
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, nuts, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, yogurt, eggs, butter, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes hour, or until a tester comes out clean.

Broccoli and Cheddar Gratin

Broccoli and Cheddar Gratin cooksillustrated.com

2 slices white sandwich bread, each slice torn into quarters (about 2
1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon table salt plus an additional
1/4 teaspoon
2 pounds broccoli (about 1 large bunch), florets trimmed to 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled and chopped medium
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Pinch fresh ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)

For the topping:
Pulse bread, butter, salt, and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside. For the filling: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and broccoli; cook until exterior is tender but interior is still slightly crunchy, about 3 minutes. Drain broccoli in colander; leave in colander while preparing sauce.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat; when foam subsides, add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; stir in flour until combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream and broth; bring to boil. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, thyme, and two-thirds cheese until incorporated. Off heat, gently stir in broccoli until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to 11- by 7-inch (2-quart) gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining one-third cheese evenly over surface, then sprinkle evenly with bread crumb topping. Bake until golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad With Pecorino

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad With Pecorino

1 bunch Tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale)
1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice), or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

If using bread, toast it until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
Using a mortar and pestle, or with the back of a knife, pound garlic into a paste. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).

Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

Cauliflower Gratin with Leeks and Gruyere

Cauliflower Gratin with Leeks and Gruyere

Bread Crumb Topping
4 slices white sandwich bread with crusts, each slice torn into quarters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Filling
table salt
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), trimmed into 3/4-inch florets (see illustrations, below)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 leeks, halved using white and light green parts only, rinsed, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
pinch fresh ground nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground
black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup Gruyère cheese (2 ounces), plus 2 tablespoons

For the topping:
Pulse bread, butter, salt, and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside. For the filling: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cauliflower; cook until outsides are tender but insides are still slightly crunchy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain cauliflower in colander and rinse under cold running tap water until no longer hot. Leave cauliflower in colander to drain.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat; when foam subsides, add shallot and leeks and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; stir in flour until combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream and bring to boil. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, thyme, and 1/2 cup cheese until incorporated. Off heat, gently stir in cauliflower until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to 11- by 7-inch (2-quart) gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cheese evenly over surface, then sprinkle evenly with bread crumb topping. Bake until golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Gazpacho Chopped Salad

Gazpacho Chopped Salad

1 (1-inch-long) piece baguette, crust discarded
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 hard-boiled eggs, yolks and whites separated
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar (preferably “reserva”)
1/4 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Andalusian hojiblanca)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 lb ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch dice (1/4-inch-thick)
2 oz. slices serrano ham or prosciutto , cut into 1/4-inch dice

Soak bread in 1/4 cup water 1 minute, then squeeze dry, discarding soaking water. Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash to a paste with a large knife). Mash garlic paste with bread, yolks, and vinegar using mortar and pestle until smooth (or blend together in a mini food processor). Add oil in a slow stream while stirring constantly (or with motor running) to form a thick sauce. Stir in black pepper. Finely chop egg whites. Divide sauce among 4 salad plates and sprinkle with whites. Scatter tomatoes over whites and season with salt, then sprinkle with bell pepper and ham.

Bread Salad with Tomatoes, Herbs and Red Onion

Bread Salad with Tomatoes, Herbs and Red Onion

1 pound day-old coarse peasant bread, crusts removed, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes, about 6 cups
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 large, ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb. total), cored, seeded and cut into medium dice
1/2 small red onion, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil
2 teaspoons whole fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Place the bread cubes in a shallow bowl. Mix the oil, vinegar, tomatoes, onion and half of the herbs together in a medium bowl. Let stand to allow the flavors to develop, about 10 minutes. Pour the dressing over the bread, add the remaining herbs, and toss well. Season with the salt and pepper, adding more or less to taste. If the bread still seems dry, sprinkle it with 1 to 2 tablespoons water to soften it a bit and toss again. Serve. From The New Best Recipe

Savory Zucchini Bread

Savory Zucchini Bread

3 cups grated zucchini
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup all-purpose baking mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup grated cheese
2 T. chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: Other herbs such as parsley or marjoram

Mix all the above ingredients and place in an 8×8 square greased baking pan and bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Do not overcook!