Apple & Blood Orange Garden Trellis Pie by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Apple & Blood Orange Garden Trellis Pie

Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie

Happy Pi Day! Created a new twist on apple pie. Blood oranges aren't a typical addition to pie, but I had them around and wanted to use them in place of lemon for some milk acidity. To be honest their best attributes are their pretty color and floral flavor. 

As per usual, there is a lot of design detail in the crust because I can't help myself. Feel free to make any decorative crust you like. This design was inspired by a garden trellis woven with twisty vines. I've always had an affinity to gardening and all things floral, it all stems from my mother. I've included direction to create this design but the truth is, all designs don't go exactly as planned. I often utilize cute little leaf and floral cut outs to cover up mistakes like broken pastry. Shhhhh, it'll be our secret. Besides, imperfection is where true beauty lies.

You can watch my pie demo video below.

INGREDIENTS

1 double crust, vodka pie crust recipe, also on my website

3 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling pastry

1 egg

1 tbsp heavy cream

1 blood orange, zested and cut into supremes

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen sea salt

1/4 tsp aromatic bitters

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

5 (about 3 lbs) medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on mandoline

3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes and frozen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the vodka pie crust recipe, which can be made in advance. Handle it as little as possible, just until it pulls together. Cut in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap before shaping. Shape one half into a flat round disk and shape the other half into a narrow flat rectangle. Let dough rest 20 minutes or overnight in refrigerator. (note: as an option, the crust can be made without shortening and replaced with butter, otherwise known as Vodka Pâte Brisée. The directions are the same)
  2. Before rolling, let the pie dough come to room temperature, about 5 minutes, to prevent cracking. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. Try avoid using too much flour to prevent the pastry from getting tough. Gently roll onto a rolling pin and transfer over your pie dish, one preferably with a narrow lip. Trim pastry with scissors or a sharp paring knife along the rim, there will be no excess. Roll leftover pieces a bit thinner and cut out using a small leaf pie cutter. These will be used to make the leaf crown around the crust. Place on a generously floured sheet pan. Keep pie dish and sheet pan in fridge until ready to use. Note: Be careful not to stretch the dough or it will just shrink back (Trust me, it doesn't like being stretched). Rather just continue to roll until you reach the desired size. 
  3. Roll out rectangular piece of pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a wavy edge pastry wheel, cut a variety of narrow and wide strips to create the lattice and twisted cables. Use remaining dough to cut out shapes such as flowers and leaves for decoration. To make the leaves look more realistic, try bending them a bit. Place lattice strips in a single layer on a new floured sheet pan; keep on the counter. If the strips are too cold, they won't be pliable enough make the lattice. But if they are difficult to work with at any point, put them back in the fridge for a few minutes. Add flowers and leaves to previous sheet pan and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Place oven rack in middle and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl beat egg with heavy cream; set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add blood orange zest and supreme orange segments. Drain and disgard any excess liquid from the oranges. Mix in sugar, sea salt, bitters, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold in apples until well coated; sprinkle 3 tbsp flour and toss again. Transfer apple mixture into pie dish and try to keep the mixture even. Scatter frozen butter cubes evenly all over the apples.
  6. Remove sheet pan with remaining pastry from the fridge. To create a simple lattice design, place strips (any width you prefer) in one direction across the entire pie. Lift every other row, place another strip in the opposite direction and flip the strips back down. Alternatively lift every other row, place another strip in the opposite direction and flip strips back down again until the lattice is complete. Try to keep the lattice pieces close together to cover most of the filling, this will help trap in steam and make a tender filling that doesn't dry out.
  7. To create cable knit roping, loosely twist 2 strips of similar width together to create a cable knit effect. Try to keep the strips flat to create an even cable that will look like an Irish Aran sweater. For my Garden Trellis design I mixed in cable knit ropes, a row of leaves and a row of flowers with the wavy flat strips. 
  8. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the excess lattice work. Gently lift the ends of the lattice work and brush a light coating of egg wash to glue down the strips to the pie shell. Brush the top edge of the crust with egg wash. Place leaves on a 45 degree angle, press down lightly and alternatively place leaves in opposite directions to create a crown crust.
  9. Brush a light coating of egg wash evenly all-over the pie. Place pie dish on a sheet pan and bake on the center rack until golden brown, about 40 minutes. If necessary, rotate the pie for even baking and cover with foil if the top is browning too much. For best results, let pie cool for 4 to 6 hours before serving. It can be baked a day in advance.

NOTE:

If you are having trouble with the pastry strips breaking while creating the lattice or cable knit ropes, the culprit may be butter. Either the butter pieces are too chunky or the dough may be too warm. But, even if the pastry is made properly, unfortunately sometimes butter will create a weak point when the pastry is very thin. Just keep in mind, if you're having trouble matching this exact design, just add leaf or flower cut outs to disguise any errors. I do this regularly to hide mistakes. Shhhh, no one will ever know.

Do not use the convection setting on your oven for pies. It can cause over browning and dry out the crust.


Sources:

Vintage French Rolling Pin by Polders Old World Market

Photography Surface: White Plaster by Erickson Woodworks

Fluted Pastry Wheel and Pie Cutters by Williams Sonoma

Mini Round Cocottes by Staub

Ceramic Bowl by Jono Pandolfi

 

 

Watercress, Pomelo, Carrot Salad with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Watercress, Pomelo, Carrot Salad with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Refreshing, crisp and bright. All the things I love in a salad. The passion fruit gives it a little extra tanginess.

The dressing recipe will leave you with enough leftovers for another salad. I always like to have some to enjoy for another day. It will keep in the fridge for for 3 to 4 days. I realize the vinegar is a bit specific. Hopefully you can find it in a specialty food store. The mild flavorful is great for dressings and will keep for a long time in your pantry. Or you can use red wine vinegar as a substitute. 

Protip: I like washing salad in advance and storing it in the salad spinner in the fridge. Turns out it acts like a crisping drawer. Greens just seem to have a crunchier texture afterwards. I did this by accident years ago and I've been doing it ever since.

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl make an ice bath with cold water and 6 to 7 ice cubes. Shave carrots into thin ribbons using a peeler and add to ice bath. Add radishes and red onion. This will crisp and curl the carrots and radishes, which works best if they are not crowded. It will also help to mellow the raw onion. 
  2. Cut off top and bottom of pomelo, then score the sides vertically in 4 places. Peel skin and disgard. Remove pith and skin to leave clean segments. Break them up into random bite-sized pieces. Set aside in a bowl.
  3. In a small mason jar add grapeseed oil, grapefruit balsamic vinegar, sugar and flaky sea salt. Cut passion fruit in half, scoop out inside with a spoon and add it to the jar. Shake well. Add 2 spoonfuls of dressing over the pomelo to marinate.
  4. Drain the water bath and dry ingredients well with a clean kitchen towel. 
  5. On a large platter toss together the watercress, carrots, radishes, onions and pomelo. Drizzle with passion fruit dressing and garnish with black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

INGREDIENTS

3 rainbow carrots

2 radishes, thinly sliced with a mandoline

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced with a mandoline

1 pomelo, trimmed and peeled

1/4 cup grapeseed oil, or flavorless oil

1/4 grapefruit balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp flaky sea salt

2 passion fruit

4 oz watercress 

black sesame seeds

Seared Salmon & Soba Noodles with Ginger Yuzu Sauce by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Seared Salmon & Soba Noodles with Ginger Yuzu Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Let's be honest, this dish is all about the sauce. Double it, triple it. I know you're going to want to put it on everything!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and dry salmon thoroughly. Place salmon on sheet pan and season with salt and black pepper, set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of a mini food processor, add garlic and ginger. Pulse until finely minced. Note: There is a lot of flavor in the skin of ginger, so try to buy organic and just give it a quick wash.
  3. Warm a large saucepan over med heat and add 2 tbsp grapeseed oil. Sauté garlic and ginger until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, Sriracha, chicken stock, mirin, yuzu juice and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-low until slightly reduced, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat add 2 tbsp grapeseed oil. When oil is hot but not smoking, place salmon skin side up. Sear on each side until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Flip salmon only once.
  6. Serve salmon skin side up over bed of soba noodles. Spoon sauce over salmon and noodles. Garnish with scallions and black sesame seeds. Serve remaining sauce on the side if desired.

INGREDIENTS

4 salmon pieces, about 2 lbs

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1-inch piece of unpeeled organic ginger, thinly sliced against the grain

4 tbsp grapeseed oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp Sriracha

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock

2 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp yuzu juice

1 tbsp sugar

1 scallion, thinly sliced on diagonal

black sesame seeds

Tater Tot Beef Nachos by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Tater Tot Beef Nachos

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Tater Tots, check. Creamy Queso, check. Fresh Pico de Gallo, check. All the makings of your next Super Bowl Sunday.

And if you want extra crispy tater tots, try frying them twice.

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl combine tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, 1 tsp lime zest, 1 tbsp lime juice and 1 tsp salt. Cut remaining lime into wedges. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown ground beef, breaking up with a spoon. Add garlic, cumin, hot sauce and 1 tsp salt; simmer on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine Monterey Jack, pickled jalapenos and heavy cream. Stir until creamy and well combined. Turn down to low and keep warm. Do not cover with a lid to prevent steam from building up and seizing the queso.
  4.  In a deep cast iron skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F. In batches, fry frozen tater tots until golden brown, according to package instuctions. Stir to keep them from sticking together. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt.
  5.  Spread tater tots on a large serving platter and top with beef, pico de gallo, avocado, scallions, spoonfuls of sour cream and a little extra cilantro. Serve with white queso and lime wedges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, additional for garnish

2 limes

kosher salt

1 lb ground beef

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 tsp cumin

3 tbsp Frank's RedHot Original Sauce

1/2 lb shredded Monterey Jack

1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos with pickling liquid or 4 1/2 oz can of green chilies

1/4 cup heavy cream

canola oil, for frying

1 lb frozen tater tots

2 avocados, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/2 cup sour cream

 

Confetti Christmas Shortbread Cookies by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Confetti Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Yield: Approximately 50 (2 1/2-inch) cookies

Happy Holidays! This is a tender sweet and salty shortbread cookie that has incredible texture. The toasted walnut and almond topping combined with sparkling sugar adds just the right amount of crunch and glitz. Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season. But don't limit these cookies to the month of December, try different shapes to enjoy them any time of the year.

DIRECTIONS

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add butter and beat on high until pale in color, about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar and sea salt. Start on low and increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula and don't miss the very bottom.
  2. With the mixer on low, add flour in 3 increments; scraping in between in addition. Careful not to overmix or you'll get a tough dough. Cookie mixture will be a bit crumbly. Divide cookie dough in half and wrap each half with plastic wrap and shape into a flat disk. I even like to roll the dough in the plastic to make it even, which will make it easier to roll later. Let dough rest in fridge for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. 
  4. In a dry large sized skillet on medium-low heat, toast walnuts and almonds until fragrant. Shake pan to prevent nuts from burning. Transfer to a plate until cool to the touch. Place nuts in a plastic bag and gently crush nuts with a rolling pin into small pieces. To protect your counter, place the bag on a folded kitchen towel. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Lightly flour your counter and rolling pin. Roll cookie dough into 1/4-inch thickness. Using a bench scraper loosen and lift the dough; lightly flour the counter again. This will make it easier to remove the cookies after cutting them out. 
  6. While dipping your cookie cutter in flour, cut out cookies placing them as close together as possible. Dip the cutters in flour as needed. Gather leftover scraps and re-roll to cut out remaining dough. Transfer cookies to sheet pans; top with crushed nuts and sprinkle your color choice of sparkling sugar. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt and transfer to a cooling rack.

NOTES:

You can make this dough in advance and keep in the fridge. Bring dough to room temperature before baking for best results.

Since the dough is crumbly and soft, I suggest to use a simple cookie cutter shape without too many tiny details as the dough may get stuck. I used a Christmas Tree shape, but you can use a cutter for any year round holiday. Originally I tried an oversized detailed tree shape and the size made it difficult to transfer without falling apart. 

When decorating the cookies, I used white sparkling sugar at the top and mixed the pink and white sugar over the nuts to help create texture and sparkle. 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling, such as Jacobsen Salt Co.

1 egg, room temperature

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, extra for rolling

1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds

assorted sparkling sugar, I used pink and white

your favorite holiday cookie cutter

Slow Cooker Short Rib Stew by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Slow Cooker Short Rib Stew

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Perfect on a cold winter day. Don't skip on the quality of the wine for the stew, as it reduces and will reward you with great flavor. Select one that you enjoy drinking, which is especially nice to enjoy while you're cooking. 

If you prefer to cook this in a dutch oven, cook it on low for 3 to 4 hours with the lid on. Longer if you have time, just monitor the liquid levels. I love making this a day ahead, the flavors are deeper and more flavorful. Plus it's time saver if you're having a dinner party. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, pat short ribs dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and black pepper; dredge in flour until evenly coated.
  2. In a large dutch oven melt butter and 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Dust off excess flour and sear meat on all sides until golden brown with a crust, about 10 minutes. Resist temptation to flip the meat too often, otherwise the crust will not form. Transfer meat into the bowl of the slow cooker. 
  3. Return dutch oven to the stove over medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil, onion, garlic and thyme. Season with 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase to high heat, add red wine and tomato paste. Deglaze pot by scraping with a wooden spoon for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer all contents to the slow cooker. 
  4. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, broth and crushed tomatoes. Cook on low for 8 hours. Meat should be tender and fall off the bone. Skim top layer of fat and remove bay leaves.
  5. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Serve stew over wild rice and a little bit of freshly chopped thyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

5 lbs short ribs, bone in (about 3 to 4 large short ribs cut into thirds)

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp unsalted butter

extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, additional for garnish

2 cups red wine, suggest cabernet sauvignon

3 tbsp tomato paste

3 carrots, cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces

3 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups new potatoes, cut in half

2 bay leaves

1 tsp Worchestershire sauce

2 cups low-sodium beef broth

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 cups wild rice

 

Ceramics: Jono Pandolfi

Sea Salt Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Sea Salt Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Approximately 25 large (4-inch) cookies

Who wants a coooookie? I've been wanting to make this cookie for a while and when the talented girls, Natalie Mortimer and Holly Erickson, behind The Modern Proper, asked me to join their first annual #calmandbrightcookienight, it was a done deal. They made these beautiful Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel, the recipe link is here. Can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with. For the time being, you can see all the cookies on Instagram using the hashtag.

You can make this dough in advance and keep in the fridge. Bring dough to room temperature before baking for best results. If you don't have a silicone spatula, try spraying your spatula with oil to make it easier to handle the cookies.

I'm not gonna lie, these guys are little finicky, but so worth it. The first batch might be a loss, kinda like making crepes, you'll probably end up eating the evidence or tossing it out (that is if you burn em, which did happen to me, Oops!). Since everyone's ovens can have irregular hot spots or varying temperatures, try making 1 or 2 cookies in the first batch to figure out the timing and if you need to rotate the pan. It will make it a lot easier to bake off the rest of the cookies without too much babysitting. Whatever you do, do NOT use parchment paper. The cookies will not spread out into these beautiful rings. If you want to make it a bit easier, I think a Silpat liner will work. I didn't try it, but let me know if you do. I wanted a recipe that wasn't enormous, but these can be easily doubled to make 50 cookies. If you want more, make a new batch instead of tripling. 

These cookies hold up well in an air-tight container and maintain their texture, not that they will last that long. If you want to be a hero in someone's eyes, or just have cookies on demand, freeze the individual cookie dough balls. Then toss them into a ziplock freezer bag and bake them off a cookie at a time. They just need to be brought to room temperature. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare minimum of 2, preferably 3 half sheet pans with a light coating of your favorite oil spray, I used coconut oil. Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Start on low and increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula; add sugars and beat on medium high speed until sugar and butter are creamy, about 1 minute.
  2. In a small bowl combine beaten eggs and vanilla extract. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. Add egg mixture to the butter and beat on low just until combined. Scrape the sides as needed and don't forget to go all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Add flour mixture in 4 increments and mix on low; scrape in between each flour addition. Careful not to overmix to prevent the dough from getting tough. Fold in chocolate chips and mix on low speed just until combined. Scrape bowl one last time.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon about 2 tbsp of dough on to a greased cookie sheet spaced evenly. Do not use parchment as the cookies will not spread evenly. Place maximum of 6 cookies per half sheet pan, but I prefer 5 to avoid the cookies from crowding each other. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Timing is important for this cookie. Watch the first batch carefully to determine the right timing and see if your oven requires you to rotate the pan. Center should be slightly undercooked and outer edges should spread into rings. This ensures a chewy yet crunchy cookie.
  5. Remove sheet pan from oven and sprinkle immediately with sea salt. Cool cookies just enough to handle and transfer to a cooling rack using a large flat silicone spatula. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. You may need to wiggle the spatula to get the cookies off. If they are difficult to remove, they might have cooled and can be warmed in the oven to loosen. Repeat steps for additional batches but use a cooled sheet pan before adding cookie dough.

notes:

You can make this dough in advance and keep in the fridge. Bring dough to room temperature before baking for best results. I'd even suggest to freeze them as individual sized cookie dough balls and bake them off if you desire a hot chewy cookie on demand. Don't forget to bring them to room temperature though. 

If you don't have a silicone spatula, try spraying your spatula with oil to make it easier to handle the cookies.

 

INGREDIENTS

coconut oil spray

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Guittard

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling, such as Jacobsen Salt Co.

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, such as Guittard Akoma semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Flaky Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Flaky Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits

Yield: Yield: 8 to 10,  2 1/2-inch biscuits or 24, 1 1/2-inch biscuits

I love biscuits, but these, be forewarned, are crack. If you leave yourself alone with these for too long, you might end up eating them all in one sitting. Especially since they really are best eaten while warm, where you can appreciate each and every flaky layer coated in Cheddar and loaded with scallions. In my family scallions are practically a food group, so you can use a little less if it's too much. But I hope you'll stick with it and enjoy the onion-y fragrance in every bite.

If you want mile high flaky biscuits, roll the dough to 1 1/2-inches thick instead of 1-inch. The yield will be smaller, but they will be enormous! Keep them closer together while baking or they rise and fall all over the place instead of rising straight up. Which won't really matter because I trust you will eat them anyway. Now for my favorite part, the scraps. I don't believe in re-rolling biscuit dough to get a densely weird shaped biscuit (they never rise the same because all the layers have been smashed together.) I say no! Why bother? They will taste even better as a pile of flaky pastry in funky odd shapes which leads to some crispy bits. And those crispy bits basically taste like a Cheddar Goldfish or Cheez-It, but way better.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees F. Prepare rimmed half sheet or baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and sea salt. Add butter to flour mixture and break it up using your hands or a pastry cutter. Personally I prefer using my hands so I can better control the size of the butter. I aim for slightly flattened shards of butter. Work quickly to prevent the butter from getting too warm, cold pieces of butter are the trick to flaky pastry.  Add cheese and scallions; toss together using your hands until they are all well coated in flour. Make a well in the flour mixture and slowly pour in buttermilk in 2 to 3 batches, mix together using a wooden spoon completely before adding more buttermilk. Switch to your hands when it begins to form a ball of dough; do not overmix. The dough will be slightly sticky, just the way it's supposed to be. If it's too dry, add a few drops of buttermilk.
  3. Lightly flour a rolling pin and turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. Don't add too much flour at once or the dough will dry out, just add bits of flour when you notice the dough might stick to a surface. Roll out dough to 1-inch thickness and fold into thirds. Gently roll dough back into 1-inch thickness preferably in a rectangular shape, but it doesn't really matter, I just like it to be evenly folded for the sake of the layers. Repeat the folding process to create more layers one more time and end with a 1-inch thick dough. Dip biscuit cutter in flour and cut in a straight down motion; avoid twisting so you don't seal those layers of heaven. Cut them as close together as possible to avoid wasting dough. Instead of rolling out remaining scraps together to form one or two last biscuits, I suggest to cut the remaning dough with a smaller biscuit cutter and bake off remaining bits in their odd shapes. They are the perfect snack and will be more tender without re-rolling since the layers will remain intact. 
  4. Place biscuits on sheet pan or baking dish side by side, they should be touching. This is one of the tricks to ensure even rising. If you have smaller biscuits and scraps, place them on a separate small sheet pan or even a mini cast iron pan; the smaller shapes will take less baking time. Lightly brush with egg wash but be careful only to brush the tops; try to avoid the edges as they can prevent the layers from rising. Note: I often skip the egg wash to keep it simple, the cheese will still give it a golden crust. 
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Baking time can vary depending on size of biscuit. Watch the scraps, they will be done in about 10 minutes. Rotate if necessary for even browning if your oven requires it, otherwise I prefer to keep the door shut to get maximum rising.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, extra for rolling

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen

5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and refrigderated

1 cup grated white Cheddar

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 1/3 cups buttermilk

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water

Apple Cardamom Cable Knit Pie by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Apple Cardamom Cable Knit Pie

Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie

Happy Pie season! Between the Autumn air (sadly few and far between) and the Holidays upon us, it puts me in the mood for pie. I wanted a classic pie recipe with a little something special, and that something special is cardamom. I received some cardamom pods from my good friend's Lisa Seon and Andrew Black after their trip to India, plus I brought some back from Africa earlier this year. I'm going to have to do a lot more with cardamom the year. Not sure if grinding them fresh from the pod (which was kinda a pain, but smelled amazing) made a difference compared to buying ground cardamom, but it made me happy to have this spice brought from the other side of the world in my pie. It brings such a fragrance to a classic apple pie. I'm a very nostalgic person and I wanted to bring something unique to the Julie & Dan Resnick's FeedFeed x Simply Organic Friendsgiving at The Kitchen Table. A great night to be together with some of the wonderful local NYC food community, full of old and new friends.

Some of you know I get carried away with pie designs, hope you like this one. The Irish Cable Knit design was inspired by Aran Irish Sweaters. The origins go back many generations, each clan had a stitch that represented their family. They are the fisherman and farmers of the Aran Islands, just off the West coast of Ireland. This design I referenced is called Mahoney in case you're interested. It all stems from a little joke that the details on a birthday cake I made for my bestie Lola Gusman looked like a cross between Kate Moss' English Garden Wedding and an Irish Cable Sweater. Thus began the research of the Aran Irish Sweater history. We'll see if I can come up with several designs from different clans to turn this into a series. Fingers crossed. Meanwhile if you want to try and make a cable knit design pie, I've listed instructions below. Otherwise a classic full covered pie with a simple crimp will do, just don't forget to cut a few slits for steam. 

I'm always trying to improve pie technique. Therefore I just recently re-wrote my Vodka Pie Crust recipe with some additional tips to make it fool-proof. The next improvement I wanted was the texture of the pastry. I heard from my friend Andris Lagsdin, owner of Baking Steel had he used his to bake pie in comparison to the traditional pizza. Something about making a crisper pastry, so I tried using the Baking Steel to bake a custard pie without blind baking with good results. But after some experimentation I loved how crisp the crust turns out by placing the pie dish directly on the steel for general baking. Note: I've only tested this with a pyrex dish, keep in mind it will be at resting on a steel holding 500 degrees F temperature, so just throwing out a bit of caution. I hope you'll try this cool science experiement. I'm going to try cast iron soon. It also helps reduce baking time a bit.

INGREDIENTS

1 egg

1 tbsp heavy cream

1 double crust, vodka pie crust recipe, also on my website

3 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling pastry

2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen sea salt

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 (about 3 1/2 lbs) medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on mandolin

2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes and frozen

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place Baking Steel in the middle rack of your oven. Preheat oven 500 degrees F. Preferably preheat for 30 to 60 minutes. In a small bowl beat egg with heavy cream; set aside.
  2. Prepare the vodka pie crust recipe, cut in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Shape one half into a flat round disk and shape other half into a narrow flat rectangle. Let dough rest 20 minutes or overnight in refridgerator. Note: If you plan to make a similar cable knit design, you may need additional dough.
  3. Let the dough come to room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling out to prevent cracking. On a lightly floured surface, roll out round disk to thickness between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch. Keep dough moving and apply flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. Gently roll onto rolling pin and transfer to pie dish. Trim with scissors or a knife along the rim leaving a 1/2-inch border. Note: Be careful not to stretch the dough or it will just shrink back. 
  4. Cut second rectangular pie dough in half lengthwise. Roll one half of dough (A) to 9-inches in length and 1/4-inch thick. Roll remaining dough (B) to 9-inches in length and 1/8-inch thickness. Work quickly to prevent the dough from getting warm. If needed, place them in the fridge to firm up during the process. 
  5. Dough A: Use a ruler or flexible cutting board to cut long even strips. For a square edge braid, cut into 1/4-inch strips with a sharp paring knife. Braid together keeping both ends loose; transfer to a sheet pan. Cut dough into six 1/4-inch strips and roll against floured board to round edges. Repeat braiding technique and transfer to the sheet pan, keep in the fridge while you roll the remaining dough. Dough B: Cut four 1-inch strips. Loosely twist 2 pieces together to create a cable knit effect and repeat; transfer to the same sheet pan. Cut three diamonds from any leftover dough and score with a knife in a diagonal direction. Roll four balls of dough and flatten slightly to create 4 small buttons; score with a curved fork to mimic a leather football button. Fashion was my background if you couldn't tell. Transfer sheet pan back to the fridge. NOTE: If you are having trouble with the dough breaking while braiding, it might mean the butter pieces are too large or dough is too warm. But even if the pastry is made properly unfortunately sometimes butter will create a weak point. As I mention, you may need more dough to execute this exact design. I tossed a few pieces along the way. Besides, practice makes perfect.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine zest of 2 Meyer lemons, 3 tbsp Meyer lemon juice, sugar, sea salt, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Fold in apples until well coated; sprinkle 3 tbsp flour and toss again. Transfer apple mixture into pie dish, try to keep the mixture even. Scatter frozen butter cubes evenly all over the apples.
  7. Remove sheet pan with pastry from the fridge. Start in the middle and place cable knit pieces tightly next to each other. I find having too many gaps prevents the pie from cooking evenly. Trim pieces to fit within the pie dish. Fold edge of pie inward neatly and crimp together by pinching. Brush evenly with light coating of egg wash. Adjust oven to 400 degrees F, gently place pie dish directly onto Baking Steel and bake until golden brown, about 1 hour. If necessary, rotate the pie for even baking. For best results, let pie cool for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

NOTE:

Do not use the convection setting on your oven for pies. It can cause over browning and dry out the crust.

You can use leftover dough for decorative cut outs. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Dip pie cutters or cookie cutters in flour and cut out shapes. Lay them evenly on a quarter sheet pan and layer using parchment paper. I didn't use any cut outs for this cable knit design, but you can keep these in the freezer for a future use. Highly suggest baking them off and adding them to a bowl of ice cream or berries and cream. 

 

Sources:

Ceramic Jar/Salt Cellar: Polder's Old World Market

Custom Plaster Surface: Erickson Wood Works

 

Roast Chicken Breast with Meyer Lemon Jus by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Roast Chicken Breast with Meyer Lemon Jus

Yield: 4 servings

This is my ultimate comfort food, a simple roast chicken. It takes a little longer to roast but the flavor and tenderness is well worth it. The roast chicken is great all year round, but since Meyer lemons just started becoming available I couldn’t resist. Meyer lemons and blood oranges are my weakness in the Fall and Winter months. They bring the UMPH! If they are out of season, regular lemon will still taste great. The jus is my favorite part of this dish. I like to dip the chicken in the jus, ohhhhh so good! I usually make more chicken than I need, personally I love cold chicken. Shhhhhhh.

If you're into making a bone broth, save the bones. Toss them into a freezer zip lock bag, with a date of course (otherwise I tend to forget about them until they die of freezer burn).  Make some chicken bone broth when you save enough up. I made some after this meal and made a delicious tumeric and ginger chicken broth. More on that recipe soon.

In light of the 2016 Presidential Election yesterday, I offer this recipe to help comfort us during this time. I believe that a beautiful meal can make a difference. Bring people together to a common table. No matter the outcome, no matter your opinion, I hope you'll share this simple meal with your loved ones, your friends and neighbors. Don't forget the wine, I think our hearts will love us more for it. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse chicken and pat dry thoroughly. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes. 
  2. Turn oven to broil and cook until skin is crisp and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Set sheet pan over stove on medium heat; add 1 tsp meyer lemon juice or more to taste, pinch of zest and butter. Scrape bottom of pan and simmer for 1 minute. Season with sea salt. Pour jus and crispy bits into a small bowl or into a serving platter.
  4. Finish chicken with sea salt, Meyer lemon zest and parsley. Serve with jus. 

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts bone-in, excess fat trimmed

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced (or substitute with lemon)

1 tbsp unsalted butter

sea salt such as Maldon Salt

2 tbsp finely minced flat leaf parsley

Bone Broth Chicken and Rice Soup by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Bone Broth Chicken and Rice Soup

Yield: 4 servings

This came about as more of a freezer and fridge clean out, but turned into something I would eat again and again. I love when an accidental recipe comes about. When I don’t feel well I just want comforting soup, something my Mom always had on hand. Cleaning out the freezer recently resulted in some delicious roast chicken, along with the need to thaw some quarts of frozen bone broth to make room for some other cooking projects. To be honest, my true sick comfort food is jook, boiled down rice until it's disintegrated. It's meant to be easy to digest and has the consistency of a porridge. Since it takes about an while to make, I'll make a big batch and keep it in the fridge so I can have it at any time. It came in really handy today for this soup. My directions include making the jook, but you can easily just replace it with cooked rice to save time.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Steam rice according to package instructions.
  2. In a large pot over high add cooked rice and fill with double the quantity of water; bring to a boil and simmer on low for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon occassionally and add more water as it reduces. The final result is called jook and should resemble a thick porridge of broken down rice. Cover with lid to keep warm. Leftover jook can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  3. Meanwhile in a large pot over medium-high heat add bone broth, 1/2 tsp salt, ginger and garlic. If you don’t have bone broth use your favorite stock or broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt as needed. Add chicken and scallions; simmer until warmed through. Rotisserie chicken is a great substitution here too.
  4. Serve in individual bowls and scoop desired amount of jook to each bowl. Garnish with additional scallions. 

note: I don't like to add the jook to the soup as it makes it cloudy and will absorb the broth. Especially helpful if you make this in advance and want to eat the jook by itself or served with a bowl of kimchi.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup white sushi rice

2 quarts bone broth, or low-sodium chicken stock

kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 garlic clove, grated

2 cups shredded roast chicken

3 scallions, finely sliced

Spinach and White Bean Pecorino Soup by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Spinach and White Bean Pecorino Soup

Yield: 4 servings

A creamy vegetarian soup without the cream. The combination of beans and Pecorino cheese give it a creamy indulgent feeling without the guilt. If you want to turn this quick soup into a more substantial meal try adding shredded poached or rotisserie chicken.  

Don’t forget to pick out a nice bottle of wine since I'd highly suggest serving it with the soup along with a loaf of crusty coutry bread. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot over medium heat drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil; sauté garlic and onion until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in carrots, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper, stir with a wooden spoon until carrots are tender. Add white wine and stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Mix in cannellini beans and zucchini; simmer until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes.
  2. Just before serving add peas, fresh spinach, and Pecorino Romano. Stir until warmed through and spinach is wilted.
  3. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with grated Pecorino and cracked black pepper.

 

Adapted recipe originally published for my column " Insanely Easy Weeknight Dinners" on Delish.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion,  cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice

kosher salt

black pepper

1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

32 oz low-sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, well rinsed and drained

1 cup thinly sliced zucchini, cut into half moons

2 cup peas, preferably fresh or frozen and thawed

3 cups baby spinach, washed and dried

1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra for garnish

Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Pasta by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

Fall has to be my favorite season. Mostly for the cool crisp weather, which by the way clearly beckons comfort food and all things with pumpkin. More things I love. If this pasta dish isn't comfort food, I don't know what is.

The base of the sauce is roasted pumpkin and white wine with garlic and onions. But it finishes with cold butter that melts into the sauce to make it extra creamy. The sour cream at the end gives it just a little tang. But don't forget the fried sage gives it the perfect crunch against the creamy sauce.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Remove the pumpkin top and stem. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise and continue to cut into wedges, about 2-inches wide. Place wedges on parchment and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 35 to 60 minutes, depending on size of your pumpkin. Flesh should be tender.
  2. Using a spoon, scoop pumpkin flesh into a blender; disgard skin. Reserve 2 cups pumpkin purée and save remaining for soup or other pumpkin recipes.
  3. Bring an 8 quart stock pot of water to a boil and generously season with salt. Cook pasta according to al dente package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-high heat add 4 to 5 tbsp olive oil; when oil is hot but not smoking add 1/4 cup dry sage leaves and fry 4 to 5 seconds until crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt; set aside.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat sauté onions, garlic and minced sage, about 1 minute. Add pumpkin and white wine; season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and butter until melted and creamy. Stir in sour cream and pasta until well coated. Add small amounts of pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Top pasta with flaky sea salt, ground black pepper and fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.

Adapted recipe originally published for my column " Insanely Easy Weeknight Dinners" on Delish.com.

INGREDIENTS

1 small sugar pumpkin (or 2 cups canned pumpkin purée)

extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt

1 lb mafalde pasta or fettuccine

1/4 cup sage leaves, plus 1 tbsp minced sage

flaky sea salt

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into slices and chilled

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 cup sour cream

 

Heirloom Tomato, Nectarine and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Heirloom Tomato, Nectarine and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings

This is more of an assembly of ingredients than a recipe, which is exactly how I like to cook in the Summer. It's easy to pull together especially after a run to the Union Square Greenmarket, the largest farmers market in NYC. There's always so much to choose from, but I wanted to keep this salad simple. I like to marinate the tomatoes in the beginning to give them a garlicky touch. Letting them sit for 5 minutes or longer helps minimize the raw garlic flavor. Using a fine micro grater helps in that department too. (Grating is my favorite discovery, plus its faster than mincing!) Regardless the vinegar and nectarines will balance it out with just a touch of sweetness.  If you don't have a specialty vinegar use balsamic vinegar, it will still be delicious!

You could add some burrata to this to make this a light lunch with a crusty loaf of bread and salted butter.  A glass of rosé would be nice too.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut tomatoes in half or quarters. In a large bowl mix tomatoes with garlic and season with sea salt. Set aside for 5 minutes. 
  2. In a large platter arrange arugula greens, nectarines, red onion and tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle with grapefruit vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Finish with sprinkle of flake sea salt. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 lb mix of heirloom and green tomatoes, in various shapes and sizes

1 garlic clove, grated on microplane

flake sea salt

5 oz arugula

3 nectarines, pitted and sliced

1/4 cup diced red onion

grapefruit balsamic vinegar such as The Filling Station vinegar

extra-virgin olive oil

Farmstand Berry Skillet Cake by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Farmstand Berry Skillet Cake

Yield: one 8 or 10-inch skillet or two 6-inch skillets

One of my favorite cakes this Summer. A simple cast iron skillet cake loaded with seasonal fresh berries. I'm a fan of Lodge Cast Iron's cast iron skillets. I used 9-inch in these photos, but I recently made them with two 5-inch skillets that were such a cute presentation. *Special note: make a little mini skillet for taste testing! 

Highly suggest serving this with ice cream or whipped cream. I just wrote a recipe for Cinnamon Cashew Cream that I bet would be a great addition too. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder and sea salt.
  2. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together. Gradually increase speed to high; beat until pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
  3. While mixer is still on low add half of flour mixture, beat until almost incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add remaining flour mixture and repeat. Transfer cake batter to cast iron skillet(s). Batter will be thick, spread evenly using an offset spatula.
  4. If strawberries are large, cut them in half lengthwise. I prefer the tiny sweet strawberries available in the Summer. Remove currants from the stems. Mix berries with blackberries in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle half of the berry mixture all over the cake batter. Press berries lightly into the batter. For visual presentation arrange a few clusters of currants on the stem.
  5. Bake for 1 hour for large skillet or until cake is golden brown and puffy. 30 minutes for smaller skillets. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake, it should come out clean. Cool skillet on wire rack. Garnish with balance of berries, edible flowers and fresh mint leaves. Serve cake while warm or at room temperature.
  6. Suggest serve with ice cream, fresh whipped cream or cinnamon cashew cream

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 to 2 lemons, zested

2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, red and white currants, blackberries)

edible flowers for garnish

fresh mint for garnish

Cinnamon Cashew Cream by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Yield: approximately 1 1/2 cups

Cinnamon Cashew Cream

Curiosity got the best of me. I've been seeing cashew cream everywhere lately and really wanted to try it out. Let me tell you, it's pretty damn good. I'm sure it's a great dairy substitute, but I love it as is. It would be a great addition to any dessert or simply topped on a bowl of berries. Can I be honest? I might have eaten it straight out of the bowl by the spoonful, just like peanut butter, don't judge me. (I usually see this recipe made raw and vegan. My version isn't but try maple syrup if you'd like a vegan version).

My version came about because I was raiding my pantry and after several trips this year I wanted to try out a few things I had collected. The honey and sea salt made by Jacobsen Salt Co. were a gift after a trip to Portland or PDX as they say. Instant fan of their stuff. My friend Emily Elyse Miller of Trends on Trends curated the coolest trip with Visit Portland. I can't wait to go back, it has a killer local makers community. In January, a trip to Zanzibar resulted in a suitcase loaded with spices including cinnamon. Who can resist those spice markets? By the way, we stayed at the most amazing private villa Casadamare, I'll let the photos speak for itself, trust me, just GO. It was the perfect retreat after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. 

When styling the photos I reached for my friend and amazing local NYC artisan, Jono Pandolfi's white ceramic bowl. Such a beautiful simple and clean design. I gave the scene a little french twist with some pretty patterned ceramic bowls I bought in Arles, France. Much more on that trip another time, but special thanks to my friend Armand Arnal a local and Chef from Arles but also a co-owner of one of my favorite cafes Maman in NYC. He made visiting a little town in Provence so special including a heavenly lunch at his restaurant La Chassagnette.

It turns out this 6 ingredient recipe takes me on a stroll through memory lane and around the world. I can't wait to travel again and see what I collect or get inspired by.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Drain and rinse cashews; discard soaking liquid. Add cashews and 1/4 cup filtered water to Vitamix or high powered blender. Pulse until just barely incorporated.
  2. Add balance of ingredients. Blend on low and increase speed. Add more water until you reach desired consistency.  
  3. Transfer to a bowl and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve chilled.

note: I like my sweets on the milder side, feel free to adjust the honey quantity to your taste. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in filtered water 4 to 6 hours (minimum 2 hours) 

1/2 cup filtered water

2 tsp mild honey such as Bee Local by Jacobsen's

1/2 tsp vanilla extract, such Nielsen-Massey

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (or try cinnamon sticks ground in a spice grinder)

pinch of flake sea salt, such as Jacobsen's

Lemon Verbena Sugar by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Lemon Verbena Sugar

Lemon Verbena Sugar

Yield: 1 cup

This recipe came about because I bought a lemon verbena plant at the Union Square Farmers Market for my *NYC rooftop garden. I had no idea what I wanted it for, but knew I loved the fragrance. Maybe I'd used it in a cup of tea but otherwise there were no plans. One of the things I love about growing random but beautiful things in the garden is to extend my pantry. A fresh pantry, if you will. I created this herbaceous sugar because I wanted to incorporate the leaves into an olive oil cake. More on that cake later when the recipe is finished. Meanwhile, this recipe is so short that this headnote now seems ridiculous.

I dedicate this to all the people who, like me, get carried away when buying plants and have no actual clue as to how they might use them. Go ahead, buy away! It's amazing to have little bits of herbs like Thai basil or lemongrass at your fingertips. They'll come in handy when you want to create a herbed or compound butter, forage fresh cake decorations, make cocktails and simple syrups or fragrant sugars in this case. I bet this would be good on the rim of my next cocktail.

*It's a building shared roof garden that brings me so much happiness. In such a busy congested city, it's an oasis. I along with my friends and neighbors Kristen Angelilli and Marc Forgione built it and care for it. Job description: Part-time Urban Farmer who hauls water up daily because there's no water source. Yes, it's a huge hassle. But totally worth it.

DIRECTIONS

In the bowl of a mini prep or food processor add all ingredients and blend until mixture is finely ground.

Note: If you want more flavor add more leaves or combine with another complimentary herb. Use this ratio to help create larger batches of herbed sugar. Keep in refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups sugar

3 sprigs lemon verbena, stems removed

zest of 1 lemon (meyer lemon if possible)

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Ceramics: Jono Pandolfi

Photography Surface: Erickson Woodworks

Thyme Lemonade Popsicles with Nectarine and Kiwi by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Thyme Lemonade Popsicles with Nectarine and Kiwi 

Yield: 10 popsicles

Popsicles make me smile. They bring me back to Summer days when my Mom would pass out these delicious treats on the hottest of days. We would break them in half and share, or not if we were greedy or because they broke and probably fell on the ground. They would drip all over our hands and turn into a sticky mess so we preferred eating them in our swimsuits. What's better than diving into a pool or run under a ghetto sprinkler on the lawn to wash off popsicle juice, remember those days?

Fast forward to the adult version of popsicles. I tried to make these boozy and haven't figured out the right amount of gin or tequila and still have them freeze solid. So these pretty popsicles are perfect for landing into a giant glass of rosé or just eating. Hope you make new Summer memories of your own with these treats. I like that these popsicles have a built in snack. I hear someone, did they say Happy Hour?

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small pot add sugar, thyme sprigs and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Mix with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Remove thyme after the simple syrup has cooled. This can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.
  2. In a pitcher combine lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, simple syrup; stir well and add water until desired level of sweetness. At minimum add 20 oz water. 
  3. Cut nectarine in half, remove seed and thinly slice using a mandoline. Trim end of kiwi and thinly slice with mandoline. If the kiwi is organic, no need to peel the skin.
  4. Stir lemonade and fill the popsicle molds halfway. Place a few slices of nectarine, kiwi and mint as a pretty edible garnish. Freeze for 2 years. Add a few more garnishes and fill molds with lemonade. Place wooden stick and freeze until solid. Run mold under warm water to help remove popsicles.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup sugar

4 sprigs thyme

zest of 3 lemons

1/4 cup lemon juice

pinch of sea salt, such as Jacobsens (try their habenero salt too)

1 nectarine

1 kiwi

handful of small mint leaves

 

Sweet Chili Peach Glazed BBQ Chicken with Grilled Peaches, Scallions and Onions by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

Sweet Chili Peach Glazed BBQ Chicken with Grilled Peaches, Scallions and Onions

Yield: 4 Servings

Summer solstice may have already passed but it's prime time BBQ'ing season. I want to start by saying I do not pretend to be an expert in the BBQ arena, in fact this has been a fun time to try to conquer my BBQ fears. Cooking and outdoor grilling are completely different animals. Funny fact, my cousin once wrote a story about what NOT to do when Grilling and apparently I had a leading role. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but let's just say there were a lot of burnt/inedible BBQ ribs and photos of other similar situations. Lesson learned: Don't overheat the entire grilling surface of the BBQ, especially on a charcoal grill. Don't put a glaze on at the raw meat stage, unless you want a burnt exterior and otherwise raw meat. I keep BBQ methods simple now. Have a range of different temperature heat across the grill area for better control. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then massage with a bit of olive oil and finish the last few minutes of grilling with a thick glaze that will leave you with the perfect crispy char.

This BBQ chicken recipe follows those same principles. The twist is a blend of sweet chili sauce with ripe peaches and lime, which turns into a great simple glaze. But the heros, in my opinion, are the grilled sides: peaches, scallions and red onion. I can't get enough of them!

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a blender add 1 peach roughly chopped, sweet chili sauce, zest and juice of 1 lime; pulse and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. In a rimmed sheet pan place remaining peaches cut side up with scallions. Skewer onions through center and place on sheet pan. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat BBQ on medium--high. Meanwhile, rinse chicken and pat dry throughly. In a separate rimmed sheet pan place chicken and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken on BBQ grill and cook covered for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and add peaches, scallions and onions to grill. Cover for 5 minutes and flip peaches and vegetables. When chicken reaches 150 to 155 degrees F intenal temperature brush glaze on chicken. Flip chicken until glazed and browned on both sides and internal temperature is 165 degrees F; total cooking time for chicken is approximately 25 minutes. Peaches and vegetables should have dark grill marks and be slightly charred: cooking time is about 5 to 10 minutes. 
  4. Transfer to a large platter and serve with small bowl of remaining glaze.

Adapted recipe originally published for my column " Insanely Easy Weeknight Dinners" on Delish.com.

 

INGREDIENTS

6 to 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water

5 peaches, sliced in half and pitted

½ cup sweet chili sauce

1 lime, zested and juiced

8 scallions

2 red onions, sliced ¾-inch rings

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs chicken thighs with skin, bone-in

Lemon Chiffon Berry Flag Cake with Mini Meringues by Judy Kim

by Judy Kim

LEMON CHIFFON BERRY FLAG CAKE WITH MINI MERINGUES

Yield:  1 sheet cake (12 x 18 x 1-inch)

Are you ready to enjoy berry season? I am!  Flag day is fast approaching and I partnered up with Driscoll's and feedfeed to create a new Flag Cake. This is a take on Eton Mess, one of my favorite summer desserts, in the form of a cake. What's not to like? Perfect for the 4th of July or any summer picnic. The frosting is actually a swiss meringue buttercream that holds up well in warm weather.

There are a lot of Flag Cakes out there, so let's try something new. I wanted a sense of air and lightness with crunch for texture. The cake batter incorporates egg whites to give it air, there's a thin layer of vanilla buttercream frosting for creaminess and to keep it from being overloaded with frosting, the white stripes are made of adorable swirled meringue kisses. The baby star meringues are my personal favorite. For a summery twist I've incorporated lemon into the meringues, but I'm sticking to the classic combo of raspberries and blueberries. They are classic for a reason.

Julie Resnick, co-founder of feedfeed and I are doing a demo of this Flag Cake on June 7, 2016, 2pm EST. Check out the Facebook Live Video on my FB page, The Judy Lab. We're happy to be back with Driscoll's after the pie demo Julie and I did last year. I'll post the Flag Cake video in this recipe post after it airs. The video will include a piping bag demo for the meringues and frosting. If you're new to baking or using a piping bag, I think you'll love it once you've done it a few times. Don't be afraid to experiment, you can always scoop up the meringue, put it back into the piping bag and start over. Shhhh, no one will ever know. note: highly suggest to make meringues in advance for a chewy center.

note: If you are looking to shortcut this recipe, you can assemble the cake using store bought meringue kisses. Many grocery stores now carry them ready made. The baby stars can be piped out of frosting.

DIRECTIONS

Make the lemon meringue kisses and stars:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper trimmed to fit the inside of the pan. Prepare a large 18-inch piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M star tip. Place bag upside down in a tall jar or glass and fold piping bag backwards. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until frothy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar in 2 tbsp increments on slow speed. Sugar should be incorporated slowly to reduce gritty texture. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Begin to increase speed to medium for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add lemon zest and lemon juice; increase speed to high and beat until firm. Reduce speed and add confectioners sugar in 3 batches. Scrape sides of bowl and beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Batter should be shiny and glossy. Test for doneness by removing whisk and batter should have a long nose like a birds beak.
  4. Remove the piping bag from the jar and hold with one hand; transfer meringue with a rubber spatula. Carefully fold the bag upwardsafter filling and tie with a rubber icing bag tie or use butchers twine. Twist the bag to create pressure. 
  5. Press a small amount of meringue under each corner of parchment paper so it will stick to the sheet pan. This will also remove any excess air before starting to pipe the meringue stars and kisses.
  6. Use a separate sheet pan for kisses and stars as they will have different baking times. Starting with the little stars, place tip vertically down on parchment paper and press for 2 seconds, begin to pull up slowly and reduce hand pressure as you pull up. The star should be approximately the diameter of a large blueberry. Try practicing on a separate piece of parchment paper until you create consistent sizes. The practice stars can be scraped up with a rubber spatula and put back into the piping bag. At minimum make 30 stars, but I suggest to make 45 stars. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack. Center may seem too loose but overnight they will dry to create a chewy center. If there is a problem with consistency or creating a chewy center a common issue is humidity. Baking meringues on dry weather days should ensure success.
  7. To make kisses, pipe the meringue in a 1-inch circle pressing firmly and evenly. Continue to coil around and create a swirl by finishing in the center; decrease pressure as you lift the tip. Piping even sized meringue kisses will make your cake look more uniform and make it easier to cut. Bake minimum of 26 meringues kisses, but suggest to make 40. Finish balance of meringue batter in any shape of your choice. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and place on cooling rack. Dry overnight on counter.

Note: You can substitute homemade meringues with store bought and use frosting to represent the stars.

Make the lemon chiffon cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter sheet pan, don't forget to get in the corners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together cake flour (see substitute below), baking powder and baking soda. Mix in salt and set aside.
  3. Separate eggs and put yolks aside in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until you reach stiff peaks. Transfer egg whites into a separate bowl.
  4. Change mixer to paddle attachment. In a clean bowl cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow. Start mixer at low speed and gradually set on high speed for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and buttermilk; mix until combined and add egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated.
  5. Add flour mixture in 2 to 3 batches while mixer is on low speed. Scrape side and bottom of bowl as necessary. Do not overbeat. Turn off mixer and gently fold in egg whites with a large rubber spatula until just barely incorporated; keep as much air in the batter as possible.
  6. Spread batter evenly in the sheet pan. Smooth it out using an off-set spatula. Bake until lightly golden brown, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting toothpick in center of cake, it should come out clean. Set on rack and cool completely, preferably 3 to 4 hours, minimum 1 hour.

Substitution notes:

Cake flour substitute: 1 cup cake flour = 2 tbsp cornstarch into 1 cup measuring cup and fill with all-purpose flour, make sure to level flour. 

Buttermilk substitute: Add 1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup; add enough milk till it reaches 1 cup. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will thicken and look curdled.

Make the vanilla swiss buttercream:

  1. In a large metal bowl whisk together sugar and egg whites. Set bowl over a pot of boiling water as a double boiler, constantlywhisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Pour mixture in bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whip on high speed until it is thick, shiny and white. The peaks should be very firm. If they are not firm, the frosting will not be as stable.  
  3. While the egg whites are whipping, sift confectioners sugar. After you reach stiff peaks, add confections sugar and salt all at once into mixer on very low speed until it is fully incorporated.
  4. Quickly add butter and shortening in 2 to 3 additions. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Switch to paddle attachment and beat on high speed until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. The longer you beat the frosting, the whiter the color will become.  

Note: The buttercream can be stored at room temperature for 4 days, up to 2 weeks in refrigerator, 2 months in the freezer.

Assemble the Flag Cake:

  

 

Sponsored by Driscoll's and feedfeed.

INGREDIENTS

For lemon meringues:

4 egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp lemon juice

For the lemon chiffon cake:

1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra to butter the sheet pan

3 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

5 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp lemon zest

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk, well shaken

For decoration:

3 packages (6 ounces each or 1 1/3 cups each) packages Driscoll's Raspberries

1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/4 cups) package Driscoll's Blueberries

For the vanilla swiss buttercream:

6 fresh large egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups confectioners sugar

1/8 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature

1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract