Apple Galette

Here is Apple Galette, a pastry treat for the holidays.

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An officemate asked me “How do you make muffins rise?” I consulted the reliable Cooks Illustrated and found the following advice: “Make enough batter to fill up the cups for big, shapely muffins.” Here is a Lemon Blueberry Muffins recipe that shows the trick.

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Cream of Potato Soup

  Here is Cream of Potato Soup, a comfort food for the cold Minnesota winter, from MFK Fischer, a comforting food writer.

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Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings prepared with free-range chicken make compelling appetizers.

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Cashew Milk Fudge (Barfi Kajoo)

  Today, we prepared an Indian-inspired nut desert for a potluck picnic. First, we boiled milk to half its original volume, added sugar, then cashews ground in a food processor, and finally cardamom. We cut the fudge into diamond shapes and decorated each piece with a blanched almond (because we ran out of cashews). Here is the Cashew Milk Fudge recipe.

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Lentils with Garlic Butter (Masar Dal)

Today, I flavored orange lentils (masoor dal) with a fried garlic oil. It was a nice change from the Masala Dal, or lentils spiced with caramelized onion and cumin seeds that we have been preparing regularly. Here is the Lentils With Garlic Butter recipe.

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Green and Red Lentils

Today, we prepared two lentil dishes — Lentil Sausage Soup with red lentils and French Lentils With Bacon and Vegetables with green lentils (lentilles du Puy).

We started the soup by soaking red lentils in boiling water. Then we sautéed onions, garlic, cumin seeds, fresh thyme, celery and carrots in olive oil. Then, we drained the lentils, added it together with chicken stock and tomato paste to the sautéed vegetables. Finally, we added turkey kielbasa, red wine vinegar, sour cream and a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese). Here is the Lentil Sausage Soup recipe.

We started the French lentil dish by gently boiling the lentils only until they were cooked but still firm and retaining their form. In another pan, we cooked bacon only until they were cooked, still limp and slightly browned. We removed the cooked bacon, added olive oil and sautéed onions, garlic, summer squash, Chinese broccoli, Swiss chard, fresh cayenne pepper, and kohlrabi green tops. Then we added the cooked lentils and bacon and seasoned the dish with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Here is the French Lentils With Bacon and Vegetables recipe. Here is a French Lentils With Summer Vegetables recipe that substitutes the bacon with tomatoes and an additional fresh cayenne pepper.

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Comfort food on a Saturday morning. Made with cream and butter.

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Shahi Sabz Korma (Royal Braised Vegetables in Cardamom Nut Sauce)

This week, we prepared two dishes that use milk.

Earlier in the week, we made paneer, an Indian cheese, with just boiled milk and lemon juice. We also prepared a cardamom spice mixture called Mughal garam masala.

Then today, we cooked potatoes, carrots, and turnips in a rich liquid mixture of sautéed onions, garlic, ginger, jalapeño peppers, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, almonds, yoghurt, the paneer, cream, and Mughal garam masala. The dish is called Shai Sabz Korma. The term “Korma” refers to “braising” in Indian cooking.

For desert, we boiled shredded carrots in milk and cardamom, pan-fried the carrots with a buttered oil and sugar, and then mixed in golden raisins and pistachio nuts. The dish is called Carrot Halva. The term “Halva” refers to a sweet confection.

Here are the recipes for Paneer, Mughal Garam Masala, Royal Braised Vegetables, and Carrot Halva.

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Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

This American classic is baked in an unusual way — in a cold oven set at 225°F for 20 minutes and then at 325°F for 30 to 40 minutes more. The result is a very moist cake. We served this cake at home last night to a party of teens and grown-ups. Every piece was consumed with delight. Here is the recipe.

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