JenniferCote's Profile

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Poached Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

For "cathodetube", this might be similar to the salad you tried... I have it posted at my pccuisine site. You could add some grated zest; mine doesn't have that. But I think it's easier than going through the whole poaching process... If you have some decent pears on hand, they're already just delicious, as is!
For a quick and easy recipe, the Poppy Seed dressing below can be simply mixed up in a bowl, hand-whisking the other ingredients into the olive oil- no blender clean-up. Using the stirring method is convenient, especially when making a smaller batch of the dressing.

Bosc pears have a great, firm, crunchy texture, although other pears or apples, or even dried fruits can substitute in a pinch. Vary the salad by leaving out the blue cheese or replacing it with crumbled goat cheese. Serves 8-10.

Ingredients:

* 3/4 c. sugar
* 1/3 c. white vinegar
* 2 tsp. prepared Dijon, or similar mustard
* 1 scant tsp. salt
* 1 c. olive oil
* 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds
* 2 bags of mixed baby greens
* 2 or 3 thin-sliced pears, dipped in lemon
* 2/3 c. pecans, toasted if desired
* (Optional) 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

For dressing, heat 30 seconds in microwave, until sugar dissolves when stirred: >3/4 c. sugar > 1/3 c. white vinegar

Add to bowl and stir well: > 2 tsp. prepared Dijon, or similar mustard > 1 scant tsp. salt

Last, blend in: > 1 c. olive oil > 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

This will make enough dressing for two big salads. Use about half of the dressing over the following, reserving the rest for another salad: > 2 bags of mixed baby greens > 2 or 3 thin-sliced pears, dipped in lemon > 2/3 c. pecans, toasted if desired > (Optional) 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

Feb 01, 2011
JenniferCote in Recipes

What's safe to use to finish butcher block?

Thanks for all the great info, Chuckles the Clone!

Dec 29, 2010
JenniferCote in Cookware

Christmas Coconut Cake

For any coconut lovers out there- check out the "Coconut Cream Concentrate" from Tropical Traditions. It is amazing stuff. Intense coconut flavor, concentrated form, lasts quite some time... (No, I'm not one of their distributors, just love it for my coconut recipes!)

Dec 17, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage–Brown Butter Sauce

The flavors sound perfect. I think I'll opt for making an easier version; I'm pretty sure that I could toss the cooked squash and some pasta with the seasonings and browned butter, topping with the chestnuts... it'd be much easier than raviolis, but still flavorful... (It's on my list now :)

Nov 18, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Minestrone

Yes, rdizzle! DO roast the veggies to get a more flavorful stock :) Oh, and at The New Deli (and other restaurants making their own soups, I'm sure), we add the pasta when serving. Otherwise, if you have leftovers, the pasta is like a sponge; absorbs all the broth, and gets really fat! (For those folks making a big batch...)

Nov 04, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Olive Oil Cake

I have substituted a blend of half maple syrup (or honey) and half water, for liqueur; it seems to be the right consistency and sweetness. For "Amaretto", I also add almond extract. For "Kahlua", I use coffee extract. Etc. One of my sons doesn't like the taste of alcohol, and I like the substitutions because they're a lot cheaper!

Oct 07, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Curried Turkey Salad

If you're into coconut, look into Tropical Traditions "Coconut Cream Concentrate". It packs the flavor (unlike watered-down coconut milk in-a-can), has no added sugar (unlike most coconut flakes), and it's organic. The recipe about sounds great, although I might use coconut cream concentrate in it :)

Oct 04, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Basic Hard-Boiled Eggs

If you're cooking a bigger batch (a dozen or more) you might consider doing it like we do at The New Deli: We bring water to a boil first. THEN pour it over a pot of eggs, to cover. I know in the home kitchen especially, I might easily get distracted and not realize the eggs have reached a boil; this way they come back up to a boil pretty quickly. Less time for me to overlook them over-boiling... THEN, we let 'em simmer on low for 4 minutes, let 'em sit for 20 more, then pour off the water, shake/crack, and refill with cold water. Yes, the shells come off so easy. But this is if you're making quite a few eggs. The above method would probably work fine for smaller batches, without over-cooking the part of the egg sitting next to the pan bottom. (With large batches, you have to watch out for overcooking the bottom parts...)

Jul 30, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

The Basics: How to Make Basil Pesto

Has anyone else found this to be true? At The New Deli, we process the basil with the olive oil first. It seems to "protect" the basil leaves, and the pesto gets less oxidized and stays greener. I've made so many batches over the past 25 years at the deli, freezing extra portions and noting how well the pesto holds up. When I've added the garlic next, then the parmesan and pine nuts, it's greener! ALSO: I experimented with dipping the basil into boiling water, then ice water (to supposedly bring out the green color); it did NOT make any difference!

Jul 29, 2010
JenniferCote in Features

Herbed Avocado Spread

Vinegar works though. I was amazed that even tomato adds enough acid to complement the avo flavor. I don't even use lemon, lime, OR vinegar! Try it- tomato goes so perfectly. Sometimes I chop the tomato, let it juice up, save the bulk of it for salsa, but use the juice created from chopping to add to the avo...

Jul 27, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Basic Skillet Cornbread

Sounds like a good, classic cornbread recipe. Yum! Although I've used olive oil in the pan instead of butter (if you're looking for healthier). It's still good! Oh, and we might mention to those who don't know: You can find UNdegerminated corn meal at the health food store. It's nice to get the whole grain of the corn :)
I posted some corn bread variations on my website; one of my favorites uses chopped pear and yellow raisins. The textures and flavors go so good together!
Thanks for posting- I think it's cornbread time!

Jul 27, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade

These flavors are perfect together! A friend turned me on to the idea of adding basil to fruits. (Fruit kabobs are great with a bit of basil syrup drizzled over.)
I would try the microwave for the strawberry basil syrup. I suspect you could keep the kitchen a little cooler that way; just microwave the sugar/water until piping hot, then let the basil and strawberries steep in it. (Or rewarm the mix a bit.)
Can't wait to try this!

Jul 09, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Baba Ghanoush

About the tahini question: We make our own tahini regularly at The New Deli, and it's not difficult if you have a coffee grinder. Even small electric ones work well; they can spin the seeds up into a paste. (Food processors will not do this- we tried.) Our giant coffee grinder got converted into a sesame grinder when we discovered the falafel sandwich was more popular than the coffee...It works great!
HOWEVER: You could still get that tahini flavor by using toasted sesame oil (found in the Asian section of grocery stores). Yes, it's cheating a bit, but it works perfectly. And the sesame oil's handy for so many other recipes too.

Jul 08, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

White Barbecue Sauce

Ah, interesting name! We get a lot of people wanting to get a side of Ranch dip to use as sauce... We could call it "white BBQ sauce"! I like the idea of the tarragon. It's such a great herb for chicken ;)

Jul 06, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Horseradish-Cream Sauce

I've tried a similar recipe to serve with beef, subbing blue cheese and garlic for the horseradish. You can make it super easy by just microwaving the garlic in a bit of the cream first, to bring out the flavor. Add more of the cream, heating it up, then just stir in the blue cheese until melted. Super good...

Jun 20, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Winter Braising

If you're short on time but have one of those tougher cuts of beef, a pressure cooker does wonders, too.

Jan 28, 2010
JenniferCote in Features

Minestrone

The restaurant trick is true! We do this all the time at The New Deli. Keep the drained pasta separate if you're not eating it all in one sitting. Do this for soups with rice in them too! One exception: I haven't noticed barley soup getting mushy like the others. Holds its texture nicely...

Jan 28, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Limon Frozen Yogurt in San Pablo

It's awesome! State of the art equipment, super clean, AND milk tea too. (You know, with tapioca balls and all...) Really nice people running it. We love it!

Chicken and Rice soup-What did I do wrong?

I suspect the rice was just doing what rice does, if given the time. We've had this problem at our deli. We used to add the rice to the pot when we made vegetable rice soup, but... like you said, it becomes mush so quickly. Sucks all the moisture out of the broth! So now we add the rice to each bowl just before serving. If you do that, you shouldn't have this problem!

Jan 21, 2010
JenniferCote in Home Cooking

Pear and Spinach Salad

Ha, I'm going with, "it'll taste just fine without soaking" (the easier the better, and it'll still be good, right?). I make a similar salad, and add some poppy seeds to the dressing. So classy. And I've noticed that if I slowly whisk the oil into the other ingredients, it gets quite nicely emulsified- a perfect dressing.

Jan 21, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Marinated Mushrooms

This recipe sounds good, and pretty easy, but I must say, I've got an even simpler recipe! I just put the raw mushrooms in a zip-lock bag with some raw chopped garlic and herbs, add some olive oil (enough to coat them). Shake to cover the mushrooms, then add some soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Shake again and marinate a day or so. Ready to serve as is (delicious), OR grill up in a pan or on the grill. (Deluxe!)

Jan 18, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

What is one tip that you learned about cooking that was simple but made a huge difference? [old]

I'm not sure if I saw this one in here: Bring water (or stock) to a boil first, before adding soup ingredients, grains, beans, potatoes, or what-have-you. When we used to start with cold water/stock, we'd to try to watch the pot, waiting for it to get up to temp, but then when backs were turned, it would boil over. If the water's boiling hot, it gets back up to temperature fast; then you can turn it to simmer to finish. And then it'll need only an occasional stir, instead of constant watching.

Jan 14, 2010
JenniferCote in Home Cooking

Whole Wheat–Oat Pancakes

These pancakes sound great for the "hearty pancake eater", but at our house, we go for whole grain, but still light and fluffy. I whip about 4-6 egg whites, process about 1/3-1/2 c. oatmeal in the electric coffee grinder (to make "oat flour"), then add whatever: 1/3 c. or so of yogurt, buttermilk, milk (or even water), plus the egg yolks. Doesn't need leavening, as the egg whites fluff it up. Oh, so light! So good!

Jan 14, 2010
JenniferCote in Recipes

Whole Grains 101

For any raw-foodies out there, it's good to know that you can soak certain grains overnight, and eat them raw for breakfast. Drain off the soaking water the next morning and they're ready to eat with a bit of extra dried fruit and nuts. Soaking helps get rid of the phytates (which can interfere with digestion). (Cooking also gets rid of them.)
Buckwheat groats and millet are my favorites; oatmeal is my husband's fave...

Jan 14, 2010
JenniferCote in Features

Harissa

Wow! This sounds great. I'm always looking for new ways to use caraway, and this looks like a great excuse. I like to toast them first (really brings out the flavor). I make a carrot soup that's mostly just pureed cooked carrot, with the toasted caraway, some olive oil, and some dill. I guess you could call it "Orange Harissa"!

Nov 30, 2009
JenniferCote in Recipes

Apple Tarts with Apple Ice

Wow- adding the almond paste is a stroke of genius. I've tried it with a pear tart, but never got so creative with the good ole' basic apple pie. I'll have to do this for our next one! Thanks for posting!

Nov 03, 2009
JenniferCote in Recipes

Cheesy Artichoke Dip

This sounds deluxe. I've got a super-easy recipe where I just process (thawed) frozen artichoke hearts with some cheddar cheese and a bit of Italian dressing. Add a bit of mayo last; it also holds up well for hours without separating.
Definitely try frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe's- way better texture and flavor than the canned!
The bread-crumb topping sounds perfect. Yum :)

Nov 02, 2009
JenniferCote in Recipes

Thanksgiving Dinner - Favorite Holiday Recipes and Traditions

You might try cooking the turkey breast-side-down, turning it over half-way through to get the breast side golden. This will give you a moist, juicy turkey (without the breast meat getting dried out). Another tip: If you put the stuffing in a separate casserole dish to heat up in the oven for the last hour or so (as opposed to stuffing it in the bird), the turkey won't have to cook quite as long to get to temperature (again, probably resulting in a moister turkey). Plus, it sure makes it easier at serving time, that you don't have to dig it out of the bird!
As for sweet potatoes, a favorite for me is to bake them instead of boiling. You don't throw all that extra flavor away in the cooking water that way. You can even do this the day before, removing the peel after they cool. Mash them, and on serving day, add a few ingredients (including 1 egg, for extra moistness and good texture)- top with a streusel-like topping (pecans included is deluxe).
However you do it, it'll be great. Turkeys are so tasty, even just thrown in the oven and left on their own for a few hours. Who can complain?!

Nov 01, 2009
JenniferCote in Home Cooking