Friday, April 29, 2011


***A quick note to those of you looking for recipes from past classes.  On the right-hand side of this page, there is a list called "blog archive".  Within each year listed, there are months you can click on and the recipe titles from that month of classes will appear.  For the Trifle recipe you did with the substitute teacher while I was gone, go to February 2011, and find it listed as "Valentine Trifle". ***

{aka Tabouli}
A Middle Eastern salad

It was wonderful to find out how many of you had not ever tried this salad before.  It's great to introduce new things to your budding palates!
After three classes modified and tweaked this recipe different ways, here is the final draft of our best version of Tabbouleh:

For 3-4 servings (as a side dish)
you will need:

1/2 cup bulghur wheat (aka bulgur)
3/4 cup boiling water w/ pinch of salt
2 to 3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 & 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
1 cucumber - peeled and diced small
8-10 cherry tomatoes - quartered
(or one large, ripe tomatoe diced small)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
freshly ground pepper

-Pour boiling water over bulghur.  Stir, cover, and let sit for 45 minutes or longer.
-The bulghur will absorb the water and go from this:

to this:

-Meanwhile, mix your chopped vegetables and herbs together in a medium bowl.
-Add olive oil, salt, and 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice.  Save the last bit of lemon juice for later, in case you think the completed salad needs more after tasting.
-When bulgur is cooled down to room temperature, add to salad along with freshly ground pepper.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Almond Macarons

4 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 & 1/4 cup almond meal (finely ground blanched almonds)
1/2 tsp salt
Filling of your choice:
lemon curd
chocolate ganache

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

-Using a medium-mesh sieve, sift the powdered sugar into the almond flour and set aside.

-In a clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a large bowl and a hand mixer), whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy and the wires of the beater(s) leave a trail, 1 to 2 minutes.

-Add 1 Tbs. of the granulated sugar and continue to whip for another 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat 3 times with the remaining granulated sugar. Once all of the sugar is mixed in, continue whipping the whites until they turn glossy and stiff (when you lift the beater(s) from the bowl, the whites should hold a straight peak that doesn’t curl at the tip), 4 to 8 minutes more.

-With a large rubber spatula, fold in half of the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture. Once most of it has been incorporated, fold in the remaining mixture until just combined.  Do not overbeat.

Pipe the cookies

-Using a piping bag fitted with a 1/2- to 3/4-inch round tip , pipe the batter onto the prepared sheets in rounds that are about 1 inch in diameter and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, spaced about 1-1/2 inches apart. 

-As you pipe, hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and flick the tip of the bag as you finish each cookie to minimize the peaks. 

-Use your finger, dipped in cold water to flatten any tips.  

Bake the cookies

Bake, rotating the sheets and swapping their positions after 8 minutes, until the meringues are very pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes total. Cool completely on the baking sheets on racks.

Fill the cookies

-Using a piping bag with a small tip, pipe 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of the filling onto half of the cookies—you want to use just enough filling that it spreads to the edge when topped but doesn’t squish out much when bitten. 

-Top the filled halves with their partners. 

-The cookies are best the day they’re made, but you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.