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January 2007 Issue - When Bakers Cook, Recipes deChef

In honor of 2007’s debut, and to rescue those post-holiday palates, I am delighted to share some of my best ‘cooking’ recipes. Welcome to the savory side of the kitchen. We got soups, salad, pasta, rib sticking main dish fare, and of course, hot bread and some desserts. Once you are done with the diet and exercise spiels that January traditionally features, you’re gonna want to have real food. When you do, I’ll be waiting. Your chair is ready, your plate is warm – just dig in. Seconds are on the house. For vegetarian resolutions, healthy and grainy stuff, just check the Complete Recipe Archives for a ton of ideas and recipe finds.

Free !!! Marcy’s Famous Roasted Garlic, Lemon and Herb Chicken
Fresh herbs, tons of garlic, pickled lemons (or regular), a touch of rock sea salt make this the recipe I never even thought of this as a recipe until the compliments never seemed to stop.

Free !!! Salted Pickled Lemons
A 1-2-3 winter preserve of lemons, lemon juice and some other pantry items. Pickled lemons perk up rice, potatoes, fish, and vinaigrettes but really help bring out the full flavor of Marcy’s Famous Roast Chicken.

Triple Cheese Macaroni with Buttered Breadcrumb Topping
See cheese please! Two types of cheese, a dash of mustard, and a buttery toasted breadcrumb topping makes this a classic. Throw away that box and packet of orange cheese powder! If you haven’t had real mac’n cheese before, you are in for a treat. This makes a meal, not a snack attack filler.

Maestro Pasta
One of the most unbelievable pasta dishes I ever created. It is superb hot, warm or cold – the flavor and elements are so outstanding, neither time, nor temperatures affect its stellar nature. It features a symphony of cheeses, spices, sausage and Calabrese and more. It is what to bring when they ask you to bring something (aside from the cheesecake).

Restaurant Style Caesar Salad
Big, fat, homemade garlic croutons, and a shower of freshly grated parmesan and Asiago cheese pony up to a salad that is a lemon-garlic festival on a plate. The dressing is light enough but still sticks to the greens and the flavor sings through in each bite.

Popover Chicken with Mushroom Wine Gravy
I won a prize with this like a zillion years ago. Make it once and you will see why. It is a uniquely pretty casserole, as well as easy; kids as well as adults love it.

French Bistro Pepper Steak
Steak au Poivre is what I think of when I think pepper steak (versus steak and green peppers). This is the zestiest, most mouth-watering entrée you could dream up. No wonder why it’s a classic.

Double Fried French Fries
Aimez vous les frites? These are simple and simply spectacular in a bistro food way. Let the other food sites hype the diet theme for the New Year. BB dares to be different. We say, how’s about some great fries the right way (better oil, fresh potatoes) and hit the gym later.

French Onion Soup au Gratin
Few things taste sinful and soothing at the same time. This wonderful, hearty, classic soup does. Find a salad and some charcuterie and cheeses and this soup and you have a meal.


A Passion for Baking
What’s For Dessert? Did You Think We’d Forget the Baking?

Stoke the fire, rattle some baking pans, get that butter warmed up. The holidays are done but there’s a whole new year of baking that starts now.

New York Times Bread Featuring Sullivan Street Bakery Bread
Better Bread and No Kneading?

Seen it, tried it. Had both success and failure in equal measure with this intriguing, everyone-in-baking-it and talking-arguing about it recipe. Why don’t you have a go and see if you get amazing bread (crusty, holey, hearty) or strange bread (like an English muffin in a casserole). I got both. It is not the most fully flavored bread in the world (a sourdough starter based bread is better for that) but it does offer great crust and crumb (when it works). Of course, with 90 minutes hands-on and 20 hours of wait/rise/babysit-the-dough time it requires, you can also simply book a return flight to Paris, stop by Poilane’s famous bakery and bring back real French bread (and a dozen croissants) in less time. But that’s up to you of course. Bravo Sullivan Street Bakery and Jim Lahey for sharing and inspiring us!

Lassie Mog Cookies
A British grandmother would probably say this are very ‘moorish’ or ‘more-ish”. Big, tufts of spice cookie, bulked up with buttery, caramel tastes and stuffed to the gills with chunks of dates, pecans, raisins and history. President’s Choice is the Loblaws Canada private label brand and they make a fine rendition of Lassy Mog cookies in a gorgeous package to book. What a name but what a cookie! This is one of my most outstanding creations of the new millennium. Catch it quick, it’s going in the next cookbook.

Cheddar ‘N Roasted Garlic Cheesecake
Sharp cheddar cheese, herbs, and roasted makes this savory cheesecake the thing to dip into, again and again. Provide imported water crackers, wedges of pumpernickel and a bowl or olives, toasted walnuts and green grapes. Savory cheesecakes are the next new thing. Think of them like quiche with attitude!  A wonderful savory cheesecake for a mid-winter brunch.

Apple Raspberry Crostata
If there is something easier but oh-so-fancy, sort of sophisticated let me know. Nothing makes apples sing like raspberries. This is a showcase dessert and the topping is a cheat but part of its unique appeal. This recipe looks like you dropped by the Silver Palate, circa 1970’s and came away with a special treat you want to run home to see if you can replicate. To think it all begins with pie dough.

Stonewall Kitchens? Sorta.
Special Layered Cream Cheese Biscuits
Stonewall Kitchens does a mean job with basic biscuits. They inspired me to create something equally buttery and flaky. Bet you can’t stop at one.

Mango Chutney Sour Cream Scones
Tiny, crusty scones that feature a buttery taste that houses ribbons of tangy, spicy mango chutney. Use the BB Mango Chutney recipe or Patak’s or famed Sharwood’s Major Grey chutney. These are the perfect combination of a buttery pastry as a counterpoint to an exotic tangy ‘extra’. Wonderful with a pot of Chai tea or a small, neat, bold espresso.

Simple Olive Oil Bread
A beautiful bread that has now become the one I make every other day. It is huge as a pillow, light as a cloud and crusty like a French bread. It is great fresh, toasted, French-toasted or eaten, slice by warm slice, with a bowl of chili.

St. Denis Street Orange Spice Caramel Oatmeal Cookies
St. Denis is in the Plateau part of Montreal; it is my second home and first choice in stomping grounds for tango, food, music, and more. This dynamite, startlingly flavorful, decadent oatmeal cookie is in salute to the edgy, warm, joie de vivre spirit that laces St. Denis from its north to southerly tip. Spice, caramel, raisins and chocolate and a little Florida sunshine to warm it all up. Salut toi! Ca va bien?

Hungarian Walnut Strudel
Old World by the slice. Potica is another name but doubtless, depending which country you come from or which village, you have another name for this buttery, nutty treat.

Chocolate Chip Swirl Bread
Like Pain au Chocolate but in a convenient loaf. As easy as Cinnamon Bread but with a smack of chocolate.

Pear, Cranberry and Apple Rolly Polly Cookies
Indescribable delights. A crisp biscotti/cookie dough is wrapped around apple pie filling, cut in slices and baked. The result is a gorgeous, crunchy pastry-like cookie that features a rippled of fruit filling.




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