Monday, November 14, 2011

The Time Has Come the Walrus Said....for Chicken Pot Pie and a Move

And here is a peek at the first recipe posted on that media (all recipes from here are archived there as well Thank you Avery!)

Chicken Pot Pie.... simple, delicious, economic, make ahead, and freezable.  Quite possibly one of my new favorite meals.  Even the baby ate the filling and was none too impressed that I didn't give her any crust so after a large amount of whining she scored some of that too.

I am oh so happy to announce that the new web page is up.  It will take me awhile to figure things out since I am as technologically savvy as the Amish.  To be honest they might be offended by that because they are probably more up to date than I am.  However.....  I have heard that the blogspot page has some serious issues, especially with comments and I know with formatting so I am very happy to finally have a page of my own.

And just because I love you I have made it more easy than: coulisandcompote.longestblognameinhistory.somethingorother.....

It is simply...

It has been so nice that you have all come here to share my love of food... now go on over there and keep going.  I am hoping to get a multi-tab thing going eventually to separate out the kid food from the adult food, but for now there will probably be a little mix.  Rest assured I will not try to feed you Millet with Zucchini Puree... well not yet anyway... come back and see me when you're 110.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins

These all started with a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Every year our daycare center goes to the local pumpkin patch.  It is like a child wonderland for Halloween.  Hot cider, doughnuts, haunted houses, and lots of land for running wild once your sugar high kicks in.  Last year when Monkey was an the only little one in the house we kept him home with us until it was time to meet up with the school bus to drive to the pumpkin patch.  We figured he wouldn't want to ride the school bus but would prefer to ride to the pumkin patch in the quiet SUV with his parents.  We were wrong.  Oh so very wrong.  So wrong in fact that we listened to him talk about missing the chance to take the yellow bus to the patch all morning.  "Eh... he's two," we thought "he will forget about it in an hour."  He did not forget about it in an hour, nor a day, month, or the rest of the year.  The topic came up enough that I began to count down the days until the next pumpkin patch trip so he could ride the yellow bus and get it out of his system.  At least we didn't have to ride in this.

So month after month he brought up the bus, and it was always followed by this.... "remember we went to the coffee shop before the pumpkin patch and we got the pumpkin bread with the squishy stuff inside?"  "Yes buddy, I remember that." "Can we have the bread again?" "Yes buddy, we can have the bread again."  However in the mad rush that is always present in our house we did not get leave on time.  My husband tried to calm me by saying "It's not a big deal, we can drive him if we're late." To which I replied "No flipping way!  I am not listening to his mourn the loss of a school bus ride again for an entire year.  It might drive him to pre-school therapy sessions."

We managed to literally get on the bus this year but we did not have time for bread.  So to make amends and forego a year of.... "Remeber when you forgot the bread because you are the worse Mother EVER and it was worse thing that has ever happened to me since you made me ride with you to the pumpkin patch?" I decided I could just make the bread at home.  How hard can it be.

Step one... find a pumpkin

Or two, or a few hundred

Roast the pumpkin and puree, or simple open a can of pureed pumpkin from the store.  For ease this year I did not make my own pumpkin which is sill really because I made fresh baby food every day and there is no difference really.  Next?  Locate your loaf pans... or if your kitchen is a disaster and you can't bear the thought of the avalanche that will be caused when you attempt to extract a loaf pan or two, use your very readily available muffin tins instead.  The concept is the same.  The recipe makes two full size loafs, 5 mini loaves, or 18 muffins.

While picking out your pumpkins at the pumpkin patch watch out for spiders,

and bees.

Cream Cheese Filled Bread Goods
adapted from The Joy of Baking


Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Pumpkin Bread
1 cup pecans or walnuts
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 - 15 ounce can pure pumpkin, or homemade
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and lightly flour two - 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pans, 5 mini loaf pans, or your muffin tins
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Cool completely and then chop coarsely.
Cream Cheese Filling
In your food processor, process the cream cheese just until smooth. Add the sugar and process just until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing just until incorporated. Do not over process. Stir in the flour.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the sugar and melted butter and whisk until blended. Whisk or stir in the pumpkin, water, vanilla extract, and nuts.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until the ingredients are combined. (A few streaks of flour is fine.) Do not over mix as it will make the bread tough.

Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it evenly between the two prepared pans. Divide the cream cheese filling in half and place each half of filling on top the two pans of batter, smoothing the tops. Top with the remaining half of batter (use two spoons to place small dollops of batter on top of the filling). For muffins, divide the batter in two. Use half for the bottom of the muffins and half for the top. To be honest in the future I will take the extra effort to pull out the bread pans it has to be easier. Bake the breads for about 55 - 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Place pans on a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing breads from pans. Can serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or else freeze for later use.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oatmeal Pancakes with Blueberry-Maple Compote

Some days I am a genius.  A culinary Goddess if you will, everything I touch in the kitchen is gold.  Baked to perfection, rich and creamy, filling, heart-warming, and all done with a touch of extreme exaggeration.  Okay so I can cook some things that taste nifty once in a while, and some of the time I can pull it off without a hitch.  This was not the case in any sense for this recipe here. 

I had a very large container of oats and was thinking they had been hanging around the kitchen longer than required and I thought... hmmmm what about those oatmeal pancakes we (and by we I mean me, but I was talking to myself so that makes me a we) saw when looking up OAMC.  Those looked tasty.... but could they really use up the gigantic vat of oats.  Well.... let me tell you my friend.  If you screw up a recipe not once but twice you will not only use the vat you will run out and have to go purchase another container since you now have a vendetta against the recipe.  And yes when you are done you will be left with more oats than you started with.  Please note that you make the oatmeal according to the directions just in case it does not jive with the recipe below... but that is only the top portion.  Do not get confused by the oat flour... this should be added later in the recipe. NOT say into the boiling water to make a paste that could hold up buildings. I contemplated throwing out the pot.  When the world ends that concrete oatmeal mixture will still be alive and well living out its elderly years with a family of baby oats telling the tail of when it escaped the Bossy Chef's kitchen.  I considered using it as a child friendly sculpting media but thought I might lose a child in its stickiness.
Trouble aside, these were delicious.  And I should know better than to cook while tired. 

On my way to work this morning I had the worse craving for these and wished I had some in my freezer, but once again the Monkey Man has access to that freezer and he loves himself a pancake.  And thanks to leaving the room for two seconds when the doorbell rang we know that Baby girl also loves the blueberry compote.  When I came back into the kitchen she had a purple smile and Monkey was saying... Juliet likes the blueberries Momma.... ahhhhh thanks for sharing buddy.

I made this on my griddle pan but feel free to  make them however you want.

Why can't my pancakes just stay together and make cute little silver dollar pancakes.  I believe this is some kind of punishment for a wrong doing in a past life.  Not something major mind you but like maybe I let my dog chase the neighbors cat or something to that effect.  Just a little annoyance to spice up life.  Seriously this does not go well with my OCD.  How to make it all better?  Hmmm.... conundrum... I think maybe by listening to a little Marcus Foster.... ahhh that's better.

I made a double batch, flash froze them in a single (kind of ) layer and then portioned them into freezer bags.  I used the new handy dandy bell plastic jar things to freeze the compote.  I highly recommend all of these things.

These are best when you first make them, but refrigerated are just as good (warm them before eating obviously).  Once you freeze them, they lose a little airiness but not enough to keep me from making them again so I'm going to say they are more than safe to add to your OAMC, or grocery list. 

Oatmeal Pancakes with Blueberry-Maple Compote
adapted from The Flour Sack Blog


1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup water
Pinch of kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly (plus extra for the pan)
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsulphered (not blackstrap) molasses
2 eggs
3/4 cup oat flour (or pulse 3/4 cup rolled oats in a food processor until finely ground)
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Cook the oats according to your package.  You will need about a cup or so of finished oatmeal.  Let cool until you need it for the recipe.

Now separately... this is where it all fell apart when I first made them... Whisk the flours (including the oat flour you made by pulsing oats in a coffee maker or blender), sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the melted butter, milk, cooked oatmeal, molasses, and eggs together until thoroughly combined.  I did not do this well enough and had some oatmeal lumps but you couldn't really tell once they were cooked.  Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Use a light hand and be careful not to over mix.  You want them tender a.k.a.... fluffy.  The batter will be slightly thick with a holey surface

Heat a cast iron pan or griddle over medium eat until water sizzles when plashed onto the pan.  Rub the pan generously with butter.  Working quickly, dollop 1/4 cup mounds of batter into the pan, 2 or 3 at a time.  Once bubbles begin to form on the top side of the pancake, flip the pancake and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total.  Continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve the pancakes hot, straight from the skillet, reheated from the fridge or freezer works too.  Spoon on a bit of blueberry compote, and if you froze that too... you might want to give it a little heat as well.

Blueberry-Maple Compote


5 ounces blueberries, (I used fresh but honestly I think frozen would work just as well... we'll find out I saved the difference this time and bought frozen)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (NOTE... NOT fake maple syrup that is sacrilege)
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of lemon zest


Heat 3 ounces of blueberries, maple syrup, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the berries begin to split (I think this took roughly 3 minutes for me), cool and portion for freezing or spoon over pancakes and enjoy.  I cheat and add a touch more maple syrup too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Myer Lemon-Cranberry Scones

Lately I wonder if I should have ever bought a real website.  I don't know how to access it and the waiting for it to get up and running is zapping my will to blog!  However, these were so good it gave me a little motivation.  These should have been made with fresh cranberries but alas as always Lincoln is a culinary joke and cranberries and myers lemons are not in season at the same time.  I'm sure you can make these with regular old lemons, or with dried cranberries like I ended up doing but do not.... I repeat DO NOT try to make them with frozen cherries instead as you will end up with a very wet, very odd concotion in deed.  These are perfect for OAMC, and I even made a double batch and froze them to make sure before I let you know.  Of course it was pointless to freeze them really because our 3 year old can reach our drawer freezer and they were pulled from their freezer bag one by one until only some scone crumbs were left for the following week.  No matter they don't take very long so I just picked up more lemons yesterday to make a TRIPLE batch. I'm sure you could do a single batch in your sleep.  Give them a try.  And if cranberries aren't your thing you could click on over here for the pumpkin scone recipe stolen from Starbucks.

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Scones
 Gourmet | May 1997
The small, sweet Meyer lemon, common in California backyards, has a thin, smooth skin and a juice interior and is particularly fragrant. These scones, which are lighter than most, will spread slightly during baking.
Yield: Makes 16
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons; preferably Meyer)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons additional if using fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries, chopped coarse, or 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries or dried cherries
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a vegetable peeler remove the zest from lemons and chop fine, reserving lemons for another use.
In a food processor pulse flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl toss together fresh cranberries and 3 tablespoons sugar and stir into flour mixture. If using dried fruit, add to flour mixture.
In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter or rim of a glass dipped in flour cut out as many rounds as possible, rerolling scraps as necessary. Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden.

Serve scones warm with crème fraîche or whipped cream. Scones keep, individually wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, chilled, 1 day or frozen 1 week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rustic Apple Tart

I was hoping to chronicle all my treasures from my once a month cooking (OAMC) experiment for weeks to come but all I have managed to try is my meatloaf muffins based on the recipe I previously posted and the link from last week.  The cilantro chicken, also posted last week (which was fantastic as I mentioned and I am making that again tonight) and a Beef-Ginger Stir-Fry that left me wondering if my love affair with the once a month cooking wasn't unlike my love of bad boys in my early 20s.  While it may have seemed like a good idea at the time it ended up leaving me feeling like maybe I could have done better, not to mention the bad taste left in my mouth. 

Like the bad boys, the Beef-Ginger Stir-Fry did NOT make the cut for things to try again.  In fact I have a second batch all frozen are ready to go if someone would like a dry, sub-par version of NY strip steaks.  What a waste (hangs head in shame).  I will let you know how we continue to do and maybe I will just have to start making a pre-cooked menu of my own for tried and true recipes.  You know I am picky about the way food should look and taste... I would not steer you wrong.  Observe something that did make the cut.

Anyway, to uplift my poor broken food spirits, I dug deep into my bag of tricks and by this I mean my iphone and realized I never told you about the tart.  Ahhhh the tart.  Bright and fruity and buttery, and seasonal and a good way to help use up those 50 pounds of apples you picked because your 3 year old just had so much fun picking them with his parents and visiting Uncles.

What to do with so many?  I was told they would keep forever, and so after taking them home and washing them and tossing the bags we brought them home in I looked up their website on how to best care for our lovely little treats.  The website said and I paraphrase a quote "do not pre-wash your apples.  Leave them in the bags we have provided with a damp paper towel in the crisper of your refrigerator."  Oops.  Oh well maybe I could make individual versions of the tart for my own freezable meal.  I could handle eating apple tarts for breakfast with coffee.  In fact this recipe is light and despite the sugar does not feel overly dessert-like because it doesn't have a hint of cinnamon.  Not a trace of nutmeg or any other traditional spices that scream apple dessert to me.  Such a nice change of pace although I had to really work on restraining myself.  My hand was just dying to sprinkle some cinnamon somewhere!  And should we run out of apple since I did not store them properly, we can always go back.  It was fun after all.

and delicious... don't forget the delicious part.

Free-Form Apple Tart
Food and Wine
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
About 1/2 cup ice water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 teaspoon juice
4 Arkansas Black or Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 large egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and mix at low speed until it is the size of small peas, 30 seconds. With the machine on, gradually add 1/4 cup of the ice water. Add as much of the remaining ice water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is just evenly moistened (it shouldn't mass on the paddle). Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400° and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 17-inch round, then trim it to a neat 16-inch round. Transfer the dough to the cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Add the apples and lemon juice and toss well. Arrange the apples on the dough in 2 concentric circles, leaving a 3-inch border all around. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the apples, overlapping the dough on itself as needed. Brush the rim with the egg white and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
Bake the pie in the center of the oven until the crust is golden and firm and the apples are tender, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool. Slide the pie onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve.

**Make Ahead
The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. The tart can be baked earlier in the day and rewarmed before serving.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts and OAMC

For the love of cooking... cilantro lime chicken

I don't really have much of a post for this week which is a shame because I made a great Rustic Apple Tart, and about 12 other dishes last week.  I was not catering, or throwing a dinner party, or anything exciting at all.  I was planning.  And by planning I mean plotting.  And by plotting I mean I am sick of not having time to cook dinner and I think that we have ordered too many pizzas in the past month. 

I say this only because my 3 year old asked me to call the lady that brings the pizza to the door so he could give her a hug.  That's a hard flag to ignore.  So I started searching for quick recipes and I stumbled upon Once a Month Cooking.  I don't even know why I started reading up on it because I have read it all before and thought... I think not!

However this time I came across Once a Month Mom..., and she had 4 full menus already there waiting.  With a printable grocery list, and a prep list and fresh and tasty looking meals so I thought.... eh, why not.  I made all sorts of things.  Some very traditional that are my good old standbys for freezable meals.  Things I make before going to the hospital to say deliver children and such.  Things like meatloaf which I already told you about click here for recipe.  And spaghetti sauce which I have not told you about but the recipe has recently been requested because apparently not everyone has a fast spaghetti recipe that doesn't involve opening a jar and I think this is a staple so I will get on it.  Then there were Pork Carnitas, Ginger-Beef Stir Fry, Oatmeal pancakes, Scones, and CILANTRO CHICKEN.  That is the photo of it up there.  I didn't take any photos while making it because it was the last thing I made and I was burnt out on photos and food in general, and because honestly I didn't have high hopes for it, but it was delicious.  It also took 5 minutes to make and I have a second batch in the freezer just waiting for us.  Here is the link for the real recipe.

here is how I made it.... Take all ingredients... double the recipe and put into a blender or smoothie maker if you like to just throw it in the dishwasher... hypothetically speaking of course.  Pulse, pulse, some more... do a little dance with the pulse to make your sick 8 month old laugh. Now while making ridiculous faces at a the ridiculously cute 8 month old who is trying to free herself from the cute hat you've just put on her...

Now throw 1.5lbs or two chicken breasts in the bag... just as they came no fancy pounding needed.  Now pour half the marinade into each bag.  Smoosh the chicken...why yes that is a technical term.  Now remove as much air as you can, roll up the bag to take up less space and freeze.  When you want to cook them take them out the night before or the morning of.  At dinner time... grill.   Ta da.... that's it.  And it was good... so very good, and I am plotting some kind of black bean, tomato, avocado salad thing to go with it next time.  I can't wait.  And... there is another batch already so I don't even have to do the five minute prep just move it from the freezer to the fridge.... you can't even get a pizza delivered in that amount of time, your child's love of the delivery girl aside.  And my husband is lord of the grill so that is where my job ends other to say... did you start the grill?  Can you start the grill?  Hellllooooo?  Grill!

or how about this little gem.

I am not a huge fan of a lot of canned foods, but I think when it comes to beans and tomatoes often it's just easier.  If I had to remember to soak beans or lentils every single time I cooked them they would never be made.  If you have time use dried, however.... if you  had time you would probably cook something instead of using a crock pot, and honestly isn't it nice to know that you have something you can make in the house and you do not have to run out for anything.  The first time I made this I forgot to thaw the chicken so I just thew the frozen breasts on top, let it cook for 10 hours on low and hoped for the best.  It worked.  The second time I made it I forgot to make it, and ran home at lunch and thew everything into the crock pot, turned it on high for 4 hours (thawed chicken this time) and hoped for the best and IT WORKED!  Oh yeah and I didn't have cilantro that time either but I hardly missed it. 

As for the Once a Month Cooking so far so good.  I will be sure to get the better recipes to you.  And I hope they are all good because I made double batches of EVERYTHING.... why do something twice when you can do it once?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Raspberry Flaugnarde (gesundheit)

Photo by Tina Rupp

We went raspberry picking last weekend with visiting family and as we walked the rows of berries I said we need enough berries to make... ahhh... Cl... ummm.... Coul-fatie?  Followed by the disclaimer that I had no idea how you pronounce it because I've only seen it in Food and Wine but it looked fabulous and I've wanted to make it ever since.  I couldn't explain if it was a custard or a cake, and now that I've actually had it it's really neither.  And it's not even a clafoutis it's a flaugnarde.

According to my sources (i.e. Wiki) the clafoutis is a baked classic French dessert of black cherries (containing pits) covered in a thick flan-like batter (I disagree with this description, not being a big fan of flan, which my Aunt describes as custard that couldn't get a hard on... lovely... moving on).  It is dusted with sugar and served lukewarm.  The dessert originates from the Limousin region and when baked with any other fruit it is actually a flaugnarde.  And apparently the word is "bastardized" as Clafouti... good gracious no... a missing s... whatever shall we do?

Clafoutis/Clafouti/flaugnarde... I don't care how you spell it it is G O O D!  I stole the photo from above because I didn't want to scare you with my photo.

I would like to blame my photo skills but honestly it was an ugly duckling of a dessert. 

Any better?  No you're right.

Some recipes call for it to be completely golden brown on top like ours but all the good photos look like the one above all creamy and white.  I suspect this has something to do with food styling and using painted food when things do not appear the way we want them to.  I like to think of it as proof that even gorgeous food like gorgeous people are retouched!  It was getting a bit late by the time it came out of the oven so I tried to take it outdoors, then decided I would take a photo the next day in natural light.  After all there were 4 1/2 of us and 8 pieces of dessert surely there would be a slice a smidge something leftover to take a photo of.... and there was... did I show you the left over berries?

I am sure it has something to do with the fresh berries that were like little pillow of fruity velvet on the tongue.  Something so rich, so delicious, so fantastic that what you see above is probably all that survived the onslaught of people eating the berries with cream and just straight from the refrigerator.  I have been counting the days all week until this weekend when we could go again and pick two to three times as many so that there could be many a flaugnarde in our futures but the weather did not cooperate.  Maybe tomorrow... hope hope.  Either way it is raspberry season get thee to a raspberry picking place and make this today.  Your stomach will thank you.  Oh and did I mention that it takes about 5 minutes to throw together... can't beat that with a stick could you?

Raspberry Clafoutis
Food and Wine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 pints raspberries (3 cups) (there is NOOOO way 3 cups would have fit.  I used 1 1/2 tops I would say just have a lot and add them until full)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch gratin dish. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the eggs, butter and lemon zest until smooth. Add the milk and whisk until light and very smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour the batter into the gratin dish and top with the raspberries.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is set and golden. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners' sugar, cut into wedges and serve.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vanilla Bean-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

I have been on a huge baking kick lately.  Makes sense as it's a perfect kick to be on while on a diet.  My thing to make this month?  Cupcakes!  I know they are so last year but I still like them more than the cake pops and they are conveniently portioned so that I can't cheat and say cut a bigger cupcake like I could should I have made this as a cake.  My first cupcake batch was a cream cheese mini chocolate chip stuffed chocolate cupcake with a fudge frosting which will be coming soon but I need to tweak the frosting to ensure yours will not melt off the cupcakes like mine did.

I may have mentioned my obsession with coconut once or twice before.  Like the Chocolate-coconut creme brulee here , Swedish dream cookies here, or the coconut blondies here, but I am always happy to add another one to the recipe box, which is what this blog really is, as much as a way to share great recipes with family and friends.  No matter where my husband and I go if there is Internet or phone service we can look up a recipe to share, and you will want to share these.  Actually you will want to horde all 18 for yourself but don't be selfish, share with your friends.  Your friends and waistline will thank you.

I love it when you can see the specs of vanilla

Michael brought some to the daycare for his and Juliet's teachers, and I gave some to my partners in crime from school.  The rest we shared with visiting family, now I'm not going to name names or anything but when I went to bed there were some left and when I woke up there was an empty cupcake holder (ahem.... cupcake thief 1 and cupcake thief 2).

Vanilla Bean-Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting
Bon Appetit

Reduced coconut milk 2 13-to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk* (preferably organic)

Cupcakes 2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (for garnish)
Reduced Coconut Milk
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to medium low; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
For cupcakes
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.
For Frosting
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, seeds from vanilla bean, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to medium high and beat until light and fluffy.
Using pastry bag fitted with large star tip, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. (Alternatively, top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting. Using small offset spatula, swirl frosting over top of cupcakes, leaving 1/2-inch plain border.) Sprinkle with coconut. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight containers; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.
* Available at many supermarkets and at Indian, Southeast Asian, and Latin markets.

I wasn't sure which would be better toasted coconut or plain coconut so I did both... do the toasted coconut.  There were only plain coconut ones left at the end of the night so I knocked off the regular coconut and added the toasted.  The original recipe says to use it sparingly as a garnish.... I happily threw that recommendation out the window and loaded them with it.  I urge you to do the same.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Greek Grilled Chicken

Some times you just make your favorite foods and never think... I really need to blog this.  However in light of my new realization that people don't cook because people don't have time (I have come to this realization after realizing that in the past two nights we had pancakes and then pizza for dinner because I haven't had time to shop for food), I realized... these are the recipes people need most.  Well people like me... which I think far out weigh people that have time to make the sophisticated food I dream about making again some day.  Here is something so fast and tasty you will swear you picked it up on your way home from the local Greek place.  It is light, diet friendly (what's a little olive oil.. okay a lot but it's healthy fat right), and deeeelicious.  Make this with the Greek Salad, and some Greek Potatoes or rice and your done.  Who said cooking takes a lot of time?

Greek Grilled Chicken
from the Bossy Chef


1-2 pounds of chicken cut lengthwise to make thin, but full sized breasts
Salt and pepper
1 ripe lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar, eyeball it
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano, or 1 tablespoon of dried
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Place chicken in shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.  Combine lemon zest, juice and vinegar in a bowl and whisk in oil. Add oregano, garlic and whisk again to combine into dressing. Pour the dressing over chicken. Turn chicken in dressing to coat.  Let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes but not too long as the lemon will start to cook the meat.  Preheat grill to med-high,  or heat grill pan to high.
Grill chicken 4 to 5 minutes on each side. If you are using a grill pan turn the heat down after searing the chicken to ensure it gets cooked all the way through.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ethiopian Cooking Part II... Berbere

Some of you may remember a hundred years ago when I started to say that I would teach you how to cook Ethiopian food.  An idea which had merit but was obvioulsy lacking in execution as here it is... a mere....millenia  17 months later and we are finally getting to Part II.  Please revisit Part I here.  So the bad news is that I dropped the ball, this is no surprise with my time restraints these years days.  The good news... here is Part II and I've given you an easy link back to Part I... and with these two ingredients you can basically make half of all Ethiopian dishes.  The Nitter Kibbeh is a spiced clarified butter, and the Berbere is a spice mixture... both of which are in almost everything.  I have heard that you will never get it as good unless someone brings it to you from Ethiopia.  Well being fresh out of Etiopian connections I will have to make due.  And since I don't know what I'm missing... I thought this was pretty darn good.... better than good.  Fantastic in fact.  And once you add this to your heating Nitter Kibbeh you will be in aromatic heaven.  Once you are all good little students and make these two I will divulge my recipe for Doro Wat.... it's not pretty but it is soooooo good it will plant ideas of traveling through Africa just to taste the food.  Does anyone else notice I make a lot of ugly food.  That would have been a great catchy name for a blog.  Ugly Food.... hmmm... I like it.

My spice next to the photo in the cookbook which is full of gorgeous recipes.  The monkey likes to open it and go through it page by page and tell me what he likes and what he wants to eat.  And why yes that is a handy dandy kids take and toss container.  Note to self... do not use this container to store baby food in the future.

adapted from Soul of A New Cusine


1tablespoon Fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup dried serrano chilies or other dried chilis
1/2 cup ground paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoon ground onion powder
1 tablespoon cardomom seeds (I bought mine whole but out of the pod)
1 tablespoon freshly ground or grated nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon Garlic powder
1/4 tablespoon Ground cloves

1/4 Tablespoon Ground cinnamon

1/4 Tablespoon Ground allspice


Ground everything together in a coffee or spice grinder.  I recommend grated the nutmeg ahead of time as you are not about to grind one of those giant rocks into a fine powder otherwise.  I did my stuff in batches because my grinder is small.  And be careful when doing the chilis... once again I got to experience what it would be like to mace myself.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Irish Whiskey Butter

I would love to say that I am not one to wish away a season but the truth is... I am.  I totally am.  I cannot wait for Summer to get here and then towards the end after a month of sticky 100+ degree days and three showers a daw and sweaty cranky children, and being held hostage in your house because you could get heat stroke if you go out into the world I am ready for Fall.  Being from Vermont Fall has always been my favorite season anyway.  The leaves in the mountains during foliage season are just breath taking. Go ahead and google it if you've never been.  You will be amazed, you will be jealous, you will think... no way does the whole state look like that... but it pretty much does.  I have so many great memories of Vermont that I often get homesick just thinking about it.  I am crossing my fingers that we will get to go home during foliage for the first time since we moved out to Cornfield-Central.

I mean who wouldn't want to be around this?

Photo via Google images

or this?

Darn it, now I want to go fishing too!

One of my Summer to Fall memories as a child was eating rhubarb at my Grandmother's house.  My cousins and I would go out to the side of the yard and choose our giant stalks of rhubarb, go into the house and peel them and pour out little dishes of sugar and salt to dip them in.  I tried to plant some rhubarb this year so I could continue the tradition with my own children.  However I was more inspired by nostalgia to plant it in the same area of the yard than by reason and the weeds in the back of the lot drowned the poor buggers in shade and I was greeted not by the blushing stalks but by whithered sad little brown strings.  I am hoping some of them make it back next year but it is a small hope.  Luckily you can buy rhubarb in any store or farmer's market right now and make this dish.  On a positive note I saw about 4 teeny tiny strawberries on the plants we planted on the side of the house so my son is very excited about that.  I don't think we will get enough to make jam as the goal is eventually but even if one survives long enough to be picked and eaten by the Monkey he will be thrilled.

these were frozen and made them a bit more sour than I expected

Strawberry-Rhubarb Irish Crumble with Irish Whiskey Butter
Irish Whiskey Butter:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
5 cups quartered strawberries
3 cups sliced rhubarb, about 1/3-inch thick (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
To make the Irish whiskey butter, place the butter in a mixing bowl and whip until fluffy. With the mixer running, gradually add the confectioners' sugar. Slowly add the Irish whiskey until combined. The mixture may look separated and curdled at first but if you continue whipping, it will come together. Topping may be used at room temperature or chilled.
Preheat oven to 375o F. Lightly grease a 7-by-11-inch baking dish and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Pour the strawberry mixture into the prepared baking dish.
In a medium, mixing bowl, add the flour, oats, light brown sugar, and salt, stirring to combine. Add the diced butter to the flour mixture, and using your fingers, work the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour the crumb mixture evenly on top of the strawberry mixture.
Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
Serve warm with a spoonful of the Irish Whiskey Butter.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cumin-Glazed Ribs with Avacado-Pineapple Salsa

I have always thought of Memorial Day as the day that kicks of grilling and Labor Day as the day that ends the grilling season.  I made these for the 4th of July weekend and every time my husband says the word grill I want them again... which is funny because now that I look back over the recipe there is very little grilling involved... which means that you can all have them for your Labor Day party, and I my friends... can have them ALL WINTER LONG if I want.  It's a win-win really... well for me for sure because I've had them but it's not too late for you.  I'll give you the recipe.  If you're nice.  And maybe beg a bit.

First procure yourself some yummy ribs.  The recipe calls for baby back ribs but I could only find spare ribs.  The guy at the store informed me that the difference was that spare ribs have less meat than baby back ribs which I believe is backwards but this is the same guy that told me skirt steak and flank steak are exactly the same cut of meat.  This is what you do for a living buddy.... gain some knowledge.  Just saying.  Mix up the spice rub and cover the rib racks, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 10 hours.  I do not remember doing this.  It is possible that I skipped over it and just threw them in the fridge with the rub.  It's been known to happen.  Either way I let them sit in there for 4 hours as I was making them the day I wanted to serve them.

After they have marinated, you bake them (see below).  While baking them make your glaze/saucey stuff.  You will need some jalapenos...


some honey and other such ingredients.  Blend that stuff up and transfer to a pot.

Simmer over low heat until glossy and thickened.  The recipe says 15 but I think mine took closer to 30.  Here you raise the temperature of the oven and continue to cook the ribs after brushing them with the glaze.  Now the picture in the magazine shows them all reddish brown.  Mine got very dark very quickly so don't freak if you're are dark too.  They almost looked burnt but that is a common look for rubbed ribs in my experience.

While they are finishing up make the salsa.  You will want to do this on a grill pan or grill.  Grill the pineapple rings until charred.... mine were extremely juicy so I actually put them on a paper towel to soak up some of the extra juice, then set them in a bowl so I could scoop the fruit out and leave all the extra juice.  Then I worried that I needed the juice to marry the flavors so I added some back in but after looking at the photo again their salsa looks all fresh and not mushy which happens when you leave pineapple juice on anything so next time I will keep them separate and as dry as possible before adding them back in.  I also didn't bother to core them, I just grilled them then diced around the core to save time.

Cut up remaining ingredients for salsa and mix together.

Right before you serve them you want to either heat up the broiler or grill and heat them over high heat for about 5 minutes, then serve with the salsa.... mmmmmmmm.  I wish I had these in the fridge right now it is perfect weather out to have ribs tonight.

Cumin-Glazed Ribs with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa
Susan Feniger c/o Food and Wine June 2011


1/4 ancho chile powder
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 racks of baby back ribs (about 5 pounds)
4 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup honey
1 pound fresh pineapple rings, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 large Hass avocado


In a small bowl, combine the ancho powder with 1/4 cup of the cumin, 2 tablespoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Set the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and rub all over with the spice mix.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 10 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Add 1/4 inch of water to the baking sheet and bake the ribs for 45 minutes, until barely tender.  Cover with foil and bake until tender, about 30 minutes longer.  Pour off the pan juices.

Meanwhile, in a blender, puree three-fourths of the jalapenos with the garlic and 1/2 cup of the lime juice.  Blend in the honey and remaining 1 tablespoon of cumin.  Transfer the glaze to a saucepan and simmer over low heat until glossy and thickened, 15 minutes.

Raise the oven temperature to 450.  Brush the ribs with half of the glaze.  Roast until well glazed, turning once, about 20 minutes.  Brush with the remaining glaze.

Light a grill or preheat the broiler.  Grill the pineapple rings over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.  Finely dice the pineapple and transfer to a bowl.  Add the brown sugar, onion, cilantro, avocado and remaining jalapeno and 2 tablespoons of lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Grill or broil the ribs over high heat, turning once, until caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Cut between the bones and serve with the salsa.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I know I just announced that I was changing the blog address but I have decided to take the plunge and do my very own website.... the new address will soon be  Stay tuned.  I hope to be posting there soon.  Until then I will post at both coulisandcompote and Iamthebossychef both on blogspot.  I haven't decided if Sweet Peas will tag along on the "real" website or not.  New recipe tomorrow.  Have a good night.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Bossy Chef Becomes......

.... well the Bossy Chef.  After two  new additions to the family and a few years of blogging under my belt I have realized that I have no desire for a fancy smancy blog, nor do I have time for 12 hour processes and 2 hour photo shoots, so I am starting new with the Bossy Chef Blog.  It will be the same as this blog is now it will just be a little more fitting.  Please join us at:

And if you have little sweet peas in your life you can visit us here for fun kid food.

Now... put your mouse on the link and click.... follow me and leave lots of comments... a new recipe awaits you over there... well this recipe to be exact... :)

Asparagus with Eggs and Pumpernickel Crumbs
adapted from Richard Blais Food and Wine


2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened (I used olive oil to make it dairy free)
**1 thick slice of pumpernickel bread (use your favorite gluten-free bread to make it gluten-free or leave it out all together and top with oven crisped pancetta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 medium white onion, minced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon raspberry vinegar (oh... I thought I had some but I didn't so I used Sherry vinegar)
3 tablespoons parsley (which I forgot to add so just sprinkled around the dish
salt and freshly ground pepper
16 medium asparagus spears, trimmed
4 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 375. Spread the butter on the pumpernickel bread. Bake for about 4 minutes, until crisp. Let cool, then break the toast into 1/2-inch pieces.

In skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the capers and vinegar and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Light a grill or heat a grill pan. Drizzle the asparagus with oil an season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat, turning, until lightly charred and crisp but tender, 5 minutes. (I did mine in the oven for 7 minutes)

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs and simmer over moderate heat for 4 1/2 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water; keep the water simmering. Gently crack the eggs all over and careful remove the shells, keeping the eggs whole.

Return the shelled eggs to the simmering water to heat through about 30 seconds (here is where my lack of attention to detail in recipes comes in. I saw the photo and assumed they were poached eggs, so that's what we made. I thought it was better and easier that way personally. I am not a fan of soft boiled eggs really. It should be really gooey or really cooked in my opinion.

Arrange the asparagus on the plates and top with the onion relish and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the pumpernickel crumbs on top and serve.