Category Archives: Vinaigrette

November 4 Class

We had a small but intimate crowd this week.  But we had a great time and everyone really got to be “hands on!”  We enjoyed two savory treats – the Chili Salt squid and the mini pizzas (with a twist) while we prepared breads, salad and soup.  When we sat down to feast on soup, bread and salad the aroma of the gingered pears filled the kitchen.  We couldn’t wait for dessert, even though we were all pretty sated by the time we were done with the meal.


(from Simple Appetizers – Ayland, Peters and Small)


14 Ounces cleaned squid (1 large tube)

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 Tablespoon flour

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ teaspoon chili powder

3 teaspoons sea salt

1 large red chili, thinly sliced

A small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Lime or lemon wedges for squeezing

Cut the squid down one side so it opens up.  Use a sharp knife to trim and discard any internal membranes.  Cut it lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips, then cut each strip in half.  Combine the cornstarch, flour, chili powder, pepper and salt in a large bowl.  Heat a large saucepan with vegetable oil and heat over high heat until the surface of the oil shimmers.

Toss half the squid in the flour mixture quickly shaking of the excess.  Add them to the oil and cook for about 2 minutes until deep golden.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Repeat until the squid is cooked.  Put the chili strips in to the oil and cook for just a few seconds.  Drain.  Put the squid on a serving plate and sprinkle with the cilantro.  Serve while warm with plenty of lime or lemon to squeeze over the top.


(from Savory Baking by Mary Cech)


8 ounces fingerling potatoes

Semi-coarse Sea Salt

2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

2 Tablespoons minced red onion

6 slices smoked bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and chopped

¼ cup finely grated Asiago cheese

¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

½ pound phyllo dough

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the potatoes covered in water, with the salt until just fork tender.  Remove, cool and slice into ¼ inch thick slices.  Put the thyme, onion, bacon and cheeses into individual small bowls and set aside.

Unwrap and unroll the thawed phyllo dough, placing the stack on a work surface.  Put a six inch plate on top of the dough and with a small sharp paring knife cut the dough all the way around in a circle, until all the dough is cut into circles.  Discard the scrap dough and place all circles in a pile. Lay a dampened clean tea towel over the dough to keep it moist.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.  Place three phyllo circles on each prepared sheet.  Lightly brush the circles of dough with butter.  Place another circle of dough atop each one and brush again with butter until all the circles have been place atop each other, each layer lightly brushed with butter.  Put 3-4 slice of potato on each stack.  Sprinkle the thyme, salt, pepper, onions, bacon and cheeses on top of each pizza.  Bake until golden brown, making sure the centers and bottom are also brown about 12-15 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and cut each one into 4 wedges with a sharp chef knife or pizza wheel.  You may garnish each slice with crème fraiche if desired.


(from Savory Baking by Mary Cech)


¾ cup raisins

¾ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup all purpose flour

2 Tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon dried sage leaves (can use ground)

½ cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

¾ cup pumpkin puree

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup chopped hazelnuts

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil an 8 x 3 inch loaf pan and dust with flour.  Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water to plump.  Set aside for 10 minutes.

Sift the flours, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, and spices together in a large bowl.  Put the drained raisins, cheddar cheese, eggs, oil, hazelnuts, pumpkin puree and milk in a bowl and whisk together until blended.

Pour the pumpkin mixture over the flour mixture and gently blend together until well mixed.  Spoon the batter in to the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake about 45 -55 minutes until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Cool in pan on cooling rack for about 10 minutes before inverting loaf to remove from pan.  Serve the bread warm or wrap tightly in plastic film to store at room temperature for up to 1 week.


(from Savory Baking by Mary Cech)


1 large clove of garlic

4 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

1 egg

¼ cup sour cream

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or spray an 8 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Put the garlic and butter into a small saucepan and warm over low heat just until the butter melts.

Stir the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, pepper and tarragon into a medium size bowl and mix well.  Crack the egg into a small bowl and stir in the sour cream and buttermilk.  Pour the egg mixture and garlic butter over the flour and blend just until mixed.  Don’t worry about a few dry spots in the dough.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the oven.  Bake until the top springs back when gently touched about 45 to 55 minutes.  Place the pan on a cooling rack until just warm.  Unmold the bread.  Can be keep for up to a week if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Serve as a side to soup or cut a thick slice and toast.  Top with butter, a warm slice of roasted chicken breast meat, arugula, a thin slice of apple and a slice of brie.  Drizzle with a bit of lemon olive oil and enjoy a tasty lunch!


(from Williams Sonoma – SOUP)


Serves 6

1 cup great northern or white cannellini beans, soaked overnight in plenty of water

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 yellow onions

2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 small bunch red Swiss chard, thick stems removed, cut into julienne strips

6 cups chicken stock or broth (48 oz)

1 cup canned, chopped tomatoes (6 oz)

3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

¾ cup fine egg noodles or capelinni (broken)

4 Tablespoons fine chopped flat leaf parsley

6 Tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

Drain the beans.  In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onions, until softened.  Add the carrots and sauté for 3 minutes.  Add half of the Swiss chard and sauté until wilted.  Add the stock, beans, tomatoes, basil, and garlic and simmer partially covered about 1 hour.

In the meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente – 3 to 5 minutes and drain.

In a food processor, blend the soup in batches, leaving some texture.  Alternatively, hand mash the soup in the pot until the desired consistency is reached.

Return the soup to the pot and warm over medium high heat.  Add the cooked pasta and the remaining chard.  Cook until chard is wilted – about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and add 2 Tablespoons of the parsley.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh grated parmesan and a sprinkle more of parsley.

Serve with a crusty loaf or homemade bread.

Romaine, Gorgonzola and Walnut Salad with Persimmon

(from Mediterranean Fresh by Joyce Goldstein)


1 cup Walnuts, preferably halves

¾ cup to 1 cup Walnut vinaigrette (see below)

3 medium heads Romaine Lettuce

½ pound gorgonzola cheese

1 firm ripe persimmon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Chop coarsely.  Do not make them too small to eat with a fork.  Place the toasted walnuts in a bowl and macerate them in 3 Tablespoons of the dressing while you prepare the salad.

Wash and tear the romaine into bit sized pieces.  Place in a large salad bowl.  Wash and slice the persimmon into thin wedges or slices.  Drizzle a bit of dressing over these on a plate or in a small bowl.  Break the gorgonzola cheese into bite-sized morsels and add to the salad greens.

Add the walnuts and enough vinaigrette to coat the walnuts.  Toss the greens with dressing, walnuts and cheese and divide among 6 salad plates.  Decorate the plated salad with the persimmon slices and serve.



2-3 Tablespoons of vinegar (sherry or wine, or sherry or wine & balsamic)

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

½ cup toasted walnut oil (or untoasted if you cannot find)

2 Tablespoons olive oil


(from Desserts, edited by Rosemary Wilkinson)


Serves 4

4 Large pears (comice, anjou or red pears are most flavorful for this.  Slightly under ripe fruit is suitable)

1/1/2 cups whipping cream

¼ cup superfine sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (peeled)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a large shallow baking dish.

Peel the pears, cut in half and remove the cores.  Arrange pear cut-side down in a single layer in the baking dish.

Combine the cream, sugar, extract, cinnamon and ginger and pour it over the pears.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, basting occasionally, until the pears are tender and browned on top and the cream is thick and bubbly.  Cool slightly before serving.


Recipes – Class One

All Day Apple Butter

This makes a nice hostess gift for Thanksgiving or the holidays.  Tie with a small card and raffia

5 ½ pounds apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped

4 cups white sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon cloves and salt.  Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.
  2. Place the apples in a slow cooker / crock pot
  3. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
  5. Uncover and continue to cook on low 1 hour.  Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.
  6. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers.  Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Smokey sausage and apple appetizer

The guys like this one as it is a bit meaty and both savory and sweet.  Good for a game day Sunday.

2 Tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

½ cup apple jelly

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 pounds cocktail sized smoked sausages (or slice large sausage into bite sized chunks)

3 apples, peeled cored and chopped

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté, stirring constantly, until onion is golden.  Stir in apple jelly and brown sugar.  Add sausages and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook and stir occasionally, 20 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.  Add apples, partially cover pan and cook about 10 minutes more or until apples are tender.  Combine cornstarch and water and stir into mixture in pan to thicken.  Cook 2-3 minutes more until thickened.  Serve warm with toothpicks and a small plate or napkins.

Apple and brie bruschetta

This is a quick appetizer to throw together for a last minute party.  You can even slice the bread the day before, prepare the walnut mixture and prep the cheese.  Then toast the bread and slice the apples before the final assembly before the party!

½ stick butter

1 loaf French bread (baguette) slice into ½ inch slices

2 to 3 Granny Smith apples

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped

Small round of brie (12-14 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toast bread until slices turn golden.  Center should be slightly soft still and crusts brown.

Remove rind from cheese and discard.  Wash and slice apples into ¼ inch slices.

Mix walnuts, brown sugar, and melted butter and set aside.  Put slice of cheese on toasted bread and place apple slice on top.  Spoon a little walnut mixture on top of the apple slice.  Prepare all of the slices.  (Recipe can be covered and set aside for later heating at this point if desire.)

Place cooking sheet in oven until cheese melts.  Be sure to watch cheese so it doesn’t over cook.

Belgian Endive with Apples and Hazelnuts
(from Mediterranean Fresh by Joyce Goldstein)

Serves 4

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup hazelnut vinaigrette
4 medium heads Belgian Endive, leaves separated (can use some radicchio for color variation)
2 Pippin or Granny Smith Apples, cored,halved and thinly sliced
Shavings of Parmesan or strips of Gruyere cheese for garnish (optional)

If you cannot find blanched hazelnuts with the skins already removed. If not, you can prepare them yourself at home.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the nuts on a baking sheet with sides or in a small pan.  Toast until the peels crack and the nuts are fragrant, 10-12 minutes.  Turn the nuts out onto a dish towel.  Briskly and with some force, roll them around in the towel, scrunching them with your fingers to loosen the skins.  You may not be able to get all of the skins off but that is all right.

Chopping hazelnuts can be a bit tricky because they are round.  But do not use a food processor, as it will reduce some of the nuts to dust and render them useless.  To chop, layout a few nuts at a time and hit them with the flat side of a cleaver or a small frying pan.  After you hit them – they will be broken into more easily chop-able pieces. At this point you may not need to chop them – you do not want the bits to be too small or they will be difficult to pick up with a fork.

Toss the hazelnuts with a little bit of the dressing to coat.

You may leave the endive whole, if you plan to serve the salad with a knife and fork or you may cut them crosswise into fork sized slices.  Toss the leaves with most of the rest of the vinaigrette and divide amongst 4 salad plates.

Top with the apples slices and drizzle with a bit more of the vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with the nuts and garnish with the cheese shavings if you like.

Hazelnut vinaigrette
(from Mediterranean Fresh by Joyce Goldstein)

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup hazelnut oil
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Apple and Walnut Risotto with Gorgonzola
(from Jamie Oliver’s COOK with JAMIE)
Serves 8

Make 1 basic risotto recipe

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 small handfuls freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for grating
7 ounces gorgonzola cheese, diced
3/1/2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
2 crisp/crunchy eating apples, halved, cored and tossed in a bit of lemon juice (I like one with red skin like cortland but you may also use a granny smith)
A small bunch of fresh marjoram leaves picked and chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
A handful or walnuts (coarsely chopped)
extra virgin olive oil

Turn the heat off and stir in the butter, Parmesan, gorgonzola, goat cheese, chopped apple and marjoram.  Check the seasoning and add salt and fresh ground pepper id desired.  Put a lid on the and leave the risotto  to rest for a minute so the cheese can really ooze into it.  While you are waiting – gently heat the walnuts in a pan.  You can either divide among plates and drizzle with a little extra olive oil and sprinkle with nuts or leave in a large dish and do the same.  Bring extra parmesan to the table for grating or sprinkling!

Sonoma Orchard Apple Tart

Adapted from a recipe from the bi-rite market in san Francisco as seen in food & wine

Serves 10

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1 ½ sticks butter, cut into ½ inch cubes and chilled

1/2 teaspoon salt

About ½ cup ice water

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 Granny Smith or similar apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 large egg white

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar

In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle blade, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the salt.  Add the butter and mix at low speed until it is the size of peas, about 30 seconds.  When the machine is running add ¼ cup ice water.  Add only as much of the remaining ice water as is needed until the dough is just moistened, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead quickly until the dough all comes together.  Pat the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  On a lightly  floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 17 inch circle and trim to 16 inches.  Transfer the dough to the cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup sugar with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt.  Add the apples and lemon juice and toss well.  Arrange the apples on the dough in two concentric circles, leaving a 3-inch border all around.  Fold the edges of the dough up and over the apples, overlapping the dough on itself as needed.  Brush the rim with egg white and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Bake the pie in the center of the oven until the crust is golden and firm and the apples are tender – about 55 minutes.  Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool.

Slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche, whipped or ice cream.

If you like, the dough can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated.