Pink Grapefruit Meringue Pie

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Here is a  little twist on lemon meringue using those gorgeous pink grapefruits that are at the height of their season right now. One frustration I have with meringue pies is that the meringue tends to weep and causes the filling to be a bit runny.  There are two ways to get your pie to set: chill it (and ignore the drops of condensation on the meringue) or use cornstarch in the filling. Classic citrus curd (the filling in lemon meringue) recipes use egg yolks to thicken the filling.  I like the certainty of egg yolks and cornstarch.  I also like my pie to be cold.  Long story short, I served this at room temperature and it was a tiny bit runnier than I would have liked. The pink grapefruit gives the curd a tart and slightly bitter edge that we really enjoyed. Add a drop of food color if you want it pink.  Mine was a brilliant shade of orangey-yellow.  You could also skip the pie, make the grapefruit curd and spread it on your toast!

  • 1 pie crust, unbaked, click here for my favorite pastry recipe

For the filling

  • 1 C. sugar
  • 8 egg yolks, reserve the whites for the meringue
  • Zest and juice of 1-2 pink grapefruits – you need 1 C. juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick, cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 t. water

For the meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla (clear if you have it)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the pastry in a glass pie dish.  Pierce the pastry all over with a fork.  Bake until the crust is cooked through and beginning to turn golden brown, about ten to 12 minutes.

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, zest, juice, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the butter and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken, about five minutes.  Don’t bring it to a boil or the eggs will curdle.  Combine the cornstarch and water in a smooth paste and add it to the saucepan, whisking constantly.  When the mixture just begins to simmer, it should thicken considerably.  Simmer and whisk for about one minute.  Strain the mixture into your baked pie shell and chill.

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To make the meringue, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer until foamy.  Add the sugar slowly, about a tablespoon at a time until it’s all incorporated.  Turn the mixer up to medium high and beat for about four or five minutes longer, or until  glossy, stiff peaks form.

Spread the meringue on top of the chilled pie- you are going for big swirls and swoops, not a smooth surface.  Bake for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees just to brown the meringue a bit.  Chilling the pie may cause the meringue to shrink or to form little beads of condensation.  But it will still taste wonderful!

 

 

 

 

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Asian Meatball Lettuce Wraps

IMG_0256These little wraps are a great way to get your kids to eat more leafy greens.  Use any ground meat that you like.

  • 1 1/3 lb. ground beef, or chicken, or turkey, or pork, etc.
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. hoisin sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 t. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 C. minced green onion, light green and white parts only
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 t. fish sauce
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 3/4 C. panko crumbs

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.  My trick for making meatballs really quickly is to form a big ball with the meat mixture. Divide it in half.  Divide each half in half.  Now you have four balls.  Divide each ball in half.  Continue dividing until you have the size meatballs that you like.  It sounds strange but it really is faster than tearing off little hunks and rolling them.  Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.  Serve in butter lettuce leaves with a little more hoisin sauce, green onions, cucumbers, and jalapeño slices.

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Salted Coconutty Bars

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This is my take on the Magic Cookie Bar.  These could also be called Clean Our Your Cupboard Bars.  You could experiment with different cracker, nut, chocolate combinations with whatever you have in  the cupboard.

  • 6 oz. Wheat Thins or Saltines, or Ritz…
  • 1/2 C. butter, melted
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar
  • 3/4 C. shredded coconut, divided
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 C. salted cashews
  • 1/2 C. salted peanut
  • 3-4 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • 1 t. flake sea salt, such as Maldon

Pulse the Wheat Thins in the food processor until they are coarse crumbs. Stir the crumbs together with the melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 C. of the coconut. Line a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with parchment and press the crumb mixture into it with your fingers. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top evenly.  Sprinkle the top with the nuts, the rest of the coconut and the chocolate chips.  Top with the flake salt. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until it’s bubbly and golden.  Cool completely before cutting.

 

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Spicy Pork And Mustard Green Soup

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I just finished eating this.  It was so good that I wanted to share it right away.  I am lazy lately and have been just cooking out of magazines instead of coming up with my own recipes.  So, sorry Blog Police, I made this almost exactly as written from Bon Appetit.  SO good and easy and quick. My husband and I were literally drinking the last of the broth right out of the bowl.

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 t. cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • salt
  • 4 C. good chicken stock (I would have liked more broth, next time I will use 5 C. )
  • 4 C. mustard greens, leaves torn into bite sized pieces
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 t. fish sauce
  • 8 oz. wide rice noodles, like for pad thai
  • Sriracha for serving

In a bowl, mix the pork with the garlic, ginger, pepper, pepper flakes, and cumin.  Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the pork mixture and brown it, stirring occasionally for about 6-8 minutes.  Meanwhile, start cooking your noodles according to the package directions.  Add the broth to the soup pot and bring to a boil.  Let the meat and broth boil for about five minutes.  Add the greens, onions, soy sauce, and fish sauce, and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat a bit and let the mixture simmer until the greens are soft, about five minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary.  Drain the cooked noodles and portion them into four shallow bowls.  Ladle the soup over the noodles.  Pass Sriracha around the table for those who like it spicier.

 

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Tamarind Whiskey Sour

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If you’ve never tried tamarind before, it’s difficult to describe.  It’s a thick, sticky substance inside a long, brown pod.  You can buy it in the pod in some grocery stores, or in block form and it sort of resembles a block of quince paste.  You can also buy it in a liquid concentrate which is what you need for this cocktail.  The recipe for this comes from Pok Pok, and was printed in Bon Appetit.  I always get so jazzed when I read about Portland in national magazines.  I remember when Bon Appetit and Sauveur only talked about New York and LA.  Anyhoo, when I read it I nearly jumped up and down because I have had a bottle of tamarind concentrate in my cupboard (bought at the spice shop months ago because it looked intriguing) but I haven’t used it for anything, mainly because I didn’t know what to use it for.  I know that real Pad Thai uses tamarind, and I had filed that away in my brain for a later recipe.  Long story short, if you like whiskey sours, try this!  It’s tartness is deep and dark, not bright like a lemon.  The original recipe calls for palm sugar or brown sugar.  I used brown. It also calls for maraschino cherries, which I skipped. Makes 4

  • 1/3 C. brown sugar
  • 6 oz. bourbon
  • 4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice (about three limes)
  • 1-2 oz. liquid tamarind concentrate(click the link to purchase)
  • mandarin orange wedges for garnish

First make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1/3 C. of water and bringing it to a boil.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved- this should only take a minute. Let it cool a bit while you juice the limes.  Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  For each cocktail, pour 1 1/2 oz. of bourbon, 1 oz. of lime juice, 1 oz. of the brown sugar syrup, and 1/4-1/2 oz. of tamarind concentrate into the shaker.  Shake vigorously and pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.  This would be easy to double or triple and make a pitcher for a party.

 

 

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Poached Cod with Tomato and Saffron

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This is a wonderfully easy, quick, healthy dish that I adapted from Bon Appetit.  I doubled the recipe for eight people, and served 6 oz. portions instead of 5 oz. portions, which are harder to find.  Serve this with lots of crusty bread and butter.   Serves 4

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained (reserve the sauce for pizza)
  • 1/2 C. white wine or champagne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch of saffron
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 skinless cod fillets, 5-6 oz. each

Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for about two minutes, or until fragrant. Use your hands to pick up the tomatoes and crush them over the pan, adding the chunks of tomatoes as you go.  Add the wine, bay leaves, saffron, and 1/2 C. of water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes. Season the cod pieces with salt and pepper and place them into the tomato mixture.  Cover and simmer gently until the cod is opaque- about 6 minutes. The amount of liquid in the pot will increase during the cooking time.  Serve the cod in bowls and spoon the poaching liquid over the top. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Here is a link to the original recipe.

 

 

 

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Holiday Leftover Recipe Roundup

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Potato Chive Fritters

You have a fridge full of leftovers.  If you are like me, you made extra food on purpose so there would be a fridge full of leftovers.  Don’t pass up the opportunity to make a batch of stock with your turkey bones, ham bones, or beef bones.  Throw it all in a big pot with a few veggies and water and you’ll have stock in your freezer for months. Click on the chicken stock recipe link below for more details.  Here are some ideas for your leftovers!

Turkey Macaroni Bake

Ham and White Bean Soup

Ham and Egg Pies

Turkey Croquettes

Potato Chive Fritters

Savory Meatloaf with Leftover Stuffing

Creamy Cauliflower Bake

Making Chicken (or Turkey) Stock

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