Sunday, December 31, 2006


Every New Year my family and I celebrate with a Greek tradition, the Vasilopita Observance. This custom began in the fourth century when a bishop, Saint Basil the Great, wanted to distribute money to the poor members of his flock. To avoid demeaning this proud people, St. Basil commissioned the ladies of his church to bake coins into a sweet bread, thereby hiding his offerings. When the families cut into the nourishing bread they surprisingly found gold coins as well, and the New Year’s tradition of baking coins into a sweet yeast-risen cake-like bread was born. While my mother never baked a traditional vasilopita, nor ever baked the coins directly into the cake, she would, true to custom, hide a variety of coins into a finished cake—whatever cake she felt like making that year. Today, the head of household divides the cake equally for each member of the family, and in traditional households, in commemoration of St. Basil’s love and concern for the poor, an additional piece of cake is cut to represent the unfortunate of the world. The one who receives the piece containing the special coin—a silver dollar in my home—allegedly will have an especially lucky year. Since leaving home I have introduced many friends to this Greek tradition and each year I am reminded of the fun generated by anticipating and hoping to receive that lucky coin. This year, in an effort to avoid sharing a whole cake with my husband, I have baked mini Rum Bundt Cakes, the preferred New Year’s cake in my family, and will give the extras to friends. While I cannot promise that partaking in the Vasilopita Observance will bring health and happiness to all who participate, as hoped by St. Basil the Great, I can attest that the ritual of making New Year's resolutions is more fun while eating a rum-soaked coin-filled cake. Happy New Year!

Mini Rum Bundt Cakes
Yield=6 mini cakes Serves 12

For Cake:
10 tablespoons (5 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the pan
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 yolk
2 eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (5.5 oz) all-purpose flour plus more for the pan
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons rum
¾ teaspoons vanilla extract

For Glaze:
8 tablespoons (4 oz) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
¼ cup rum

For a fun touch, or a festive Valentine's Day dessert, add a pink glaze:
1¼ cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons rum
1-2 drops pink food coloring

Position oven rack in center of oven and heat to 350˚F. Butter the mini Bundt pan and lightly dust with flour, shaking out excess.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the yolk, and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another small bowl combine the milk and rum. Add half the flour mix to the mixer and blend until just smooth. Add half the milk mixture and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the flour and again blend only until just combined. Add the rest of the milk mixture and blend until smooth. Finally add the vanilla and blend until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly among the six molds and place in oven. Bake the cakes for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the glaze. Gently heat butter, sugar and rum until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
After the 25 minutes, remove the cakes from the oven and test for doneness. It may look wet and spongy but still test with a paring knife. If the inserted knife emerges clean, the cakes are done. If not, return pan to the oven, checking every 2 minutes.
When cakes are done, remove from oven and spoon about 1 tablespoon of rum glaze (the first glaze listed above) on top of each cake. Let cakes cool in pan for 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Brush a layer of glaze on top of each bundt cake, let harden (about 10 minutes) and then paint another layer on. Repeat until all of the glaze is gone.

Cut a small slit in the bottom of the cake and insert a saran-wrapped small coin into the slot. When ready to serve, divide the cake equally between the number of participants (hopefully no more than 2 per cake), enjoy your small portion and discover who is the lucky recipient of the coin. Make New Year’s resolutions and enjoy!

At this point, if desired, the pink glaze can be added on top of the first rum glaze. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Spoon glaze into center and gently push out with the back of the spoon so that the glaze falls down the sides of the cake.

Note: To make a normal sized Bundt cake, just double the ingredients for the cake, not for the glaze.
For more information about the Vasilopita Tradition visit:

Saturday, December 30, 2006

"Alta" Brussels Sprouts

Last night my husband and I traveled to New York to meet a group of friends for an impromptu dinner at Alta, a tapas restaurant in the West Village. Between the seven of us we shared 20 delectable small plates with the unanimous favorite being the Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Fuji Apples, Crème Fraîche and Pistachios—it was the only dish we ordered twice! I have already written to the “R.S.V.P” and “You Asked For It” sections of Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines, respectively, requesting this recipe from Alta’s Chef Mosher, but in the meantime I have done a little experimenting of my own. While my husband and I were not disappointed with my attempted re-creation—charred Brussels sprouts, sweet apples, sour crème fraîche and toasted pistachios alone combine to form a delicious mixture of contrasting flavors and textures—something was missing. At Alta, over our second plate of these crispy mini cabbages, we all mused and speculated about this indiscernible ingredient: a very flavorful, at once vinegary, sweet and sharp sauce present in each mouthful. Here, I’ve reduced balsamic vinegar with honey to capture this effect and until I hear from one of the above contacted authorities with the secret formula, I can survive with this substitute. While we enjoyed this side dish tonight with our hamburgers, the combination of Brussels sprouts and apples would be especially delicious served aside a nice, juicy pork chop. Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apple, Crème Fraîche and Pistachios
Serves 2

10 oz Brussels sprouts, tough stem removed and halved
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 Fuji Apple, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon crème fraîche, or more to taste

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Toss the Brussels sprouts with enough olive oil to coat, a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, gently simmer the balsamic vinegar with the honey until the mixture has reduced and is slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
After 15 minutes, remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven, stir and rearrange with a spoon and test one with a paring knife. If the Brussels sprouts are not sufficiently charred or tender, return to the oven for five minutes. If they appear to be charring too much, reduce the oven temperature to 400˚F and continue roasting until they are knife-tender.
When the Brussels sprouts are finished cooking, remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and add the pistachios and apple slices. Pour the reduced balsamic mixture into the bowl and toss to coat evenly.
Transfer mixture to serving platter and top with a dollop of crème fraîche. Serve immediately, seasoning with more salt if necessary and more crème fraîche if desired.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Almond-Buttermilk Scones

My many intentions to bake lots of holiday treats this season have amounted, uncreatively, to the sole production of these scones. In an attempt, truthfully, to avoid leaving a nearly full quart of buttermilk in the refrigerator before leaving for Minnesota for the holidays I perused my recipe collection for a solution. After considering various biscuit, cornbread and panna cotta recipes, I opted simply to make a batch of my favorite buttermilk scones. I prepared and divided the dough at night, placed two scones on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator and froze the rest. In the morning, I baked off the reserved two and my husband and I happily enjoyed these flaky, not-too-sweet, and almond-packed treats for breakfast. They make a nice change from a usual routine of oatmeal and toast and feel quite festive this time of year. Any other nut, fruit or flavoring can be substituted for the almonds and the dough freezes beautifully. Enjoy!

Almond-Buttermilk Scones

a scant 2 ¼ cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (2.33 oz) sugar
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick cold unsalted butter

2 tablespoons milk
turbinado or demera sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium to large-sized mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the almonds and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the vanilla. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Gently knead the dough together in the bowl until it is just combined. Be careful, however, not to mix and knead the dough too much—you just want to combine the ingredients. If you have to add a tablespoon more of buttermilk, do so, but otherwise just gently pack the mixture into a ball and then turn dough out onto a work surface. Gently pat and shape the dough into a rectangle approximately ¾ to 1 – inch thick. With a knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into six triangles. At this point, either freeze the cut scones in a zip lock bag or place them on Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Brush the scones with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar. (Note: you can brush the scones with anything you like: eggs, egg whites, cream, even water. If you don’t have turbinado or demera sugar, regular granulated sugar is a fine substitute.) Bake the scones for approximately 15-18 minutes. (When you bake frozen scones, remove them from freezer while oven preheats. Brush with wash just before baking and bake 18-23 minutes.) Serve immediately.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Roasted Vegetables

There could not be a simpler method to prepare vegetables than roasting. These are simply tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, coarsely ground black pepper and fresh thyme, spread on a jelly-roll pan, and roasted for about forty-five minutes, or until each vegetable is knife-tender. If ever you are feeling devoid of vitamins or nutrients or are simply looking for a way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, prepare this recipe. It is delicious! The recipe can be adjusted and applied to a variety of vegetables so long as each vegetable is of similar density. Here, however, the red bell pepper is an exception: the peppers caramelize nicely with the extra cooking time and moreover add beautiful color to an otherwise dull mix. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetables
Serves 4

1 medium-large sized carrot, peeled
1 medium-large sized parsnip, peeled
1 sweet potato, peeled
5-6 large shallots, peeled
1 medium-large sized fennel bulb, fronds and rough end removed
1 large red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes into pieces approximately 1½ inches thick. (The shape isn’t that important—in fact, irregular shapes look nice—but to ensure uniform cooking, try to cut all the vegetables into approximately the same size.) Keep medium-large sized shallot pieces whole and cut large shallots in half. Cut the fennel bulb into medium-sized wedges and cut the bell pepper into 1-inch irregularly-shaped cubes. Sprinkle the vegetables with the thyme leaves, toss with enough oil to nicely coat, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and rearrange vegetables, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven again, test a sweet potato and a carrot to make sure each is knife-tender. If vegetables need more time, return to the oven again and test every five minutes until done. Remove from the oven, taste, adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary and serve immediately.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I normally cannot resist a sandwich pressed on soft, airy focaccia or wholesome, seeded multigrain bread, but every so often a fresh, crusty ciabatta roll is a nice change. In Italian, ciabatta means 'slipper,' which its elongated, flat, rectangular shape vaguely resembles. Ciabatta has a crisp crust, a soft porous interior and is light to the touch. The thin crusty exterior forms an ideal base to house heartier fillings such as roast beef, ham or grilled chicken breasts; and its soft interior absorbs spreads and sauces, without getting soggy—ciabatta holds up nicely under pulled pork, chicken parmesan and even hamburgers. This past Monday I made these slipper-shaped rolls for a honey-roasted ham, Gruyère cheese, Bosc pear and grainy mustard sandwich served at an office luncheon. It was a nice combination and because the bread was fresh, no toasting or pressing was necessary. Toasting, however, will fortify the exterior and ensure an especially solid base for a wetter filling such as pulled pork. Making ciabatta does require a starter, so a little planning is necessary. Slice and freeze any extra rolls—this recipe makes 6 4.5-oz sandwich rolls—and defrost and enjoy as needed.

Yield 6 4.5-oz Rolls

1/2 cup (4 oz) water
a scant cup (4 oz) bread flour

8 oz starter (see recipe below)
3/4 cup + 1 T. (6.5 oz) water
a scant 3 cups (13 oz) bread flour
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 teaspoon table salt
cornmeal for dusting

To make the starter, combine the water and flour in a small bowl. Let bubble slightly, stir and let sit at room temperature overnight.

To make the bread, combine the starter, water, bread flour, honey and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes until combined. Add the salt and increase the speed to medium-low and mix for 6-7 minutes longer adding a little flour if necessary. (If the dough isn't wrapping around the hook or leaving the sides of the bowl at all, add flour. Be careful not to add too much additional flour, however, because the dough should be slightly sticky and moist.) Transfer dough to a slightly oiled bowl, roll around to coat, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1½ - 2 hours.
When dough has doubled, punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Portion the dough into 4.5-oz balls, or divide the dough into approximately 6 equal portions. Gently knead and roll each portion into a ball, and let sit on the work surface covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, grab each side of one ball with each hand and gently pull outward to stretch into a rectangle. Repeat with remaining balls. Let rest covered with plastic wrap for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line 2 sheet trays with parchment paper or Silpats. (I used one regular sized sheet pan and one slightly smaller pan. I still wasn’t able to fit the pans side by side on one rack, so I baked them on separate racks and rotated them after 10 minutes of baking.) Lightly dust pans with cornmeal. After the 30 minutes, grab the sides of the rectangular shaped-dough forms, gently pull outward again and transfer to the prepared sheets. Let the dough rest again until the oven has preheated, about another 30 minutes.

When the rolls have slightly puffed again, bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for 3-5 minutes longer until nicely golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack immediately. Let cool completely before using.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Rad Na Thai Shrimp

Every so often I find myself craving Continental’s Rad Na Thai Chicken. I was first introduced to this warm bowl of fresh rice noodles, bean sprouts, scallions, peanuts, chicken and slightly wilted romaine by a friend who described it as “a big bowl of goodness.” And that it is. You can imagine my excitement when I came across a recipe for this Continental staple in Aliza Green’s new cookbook, Starting with Ingredients. More exciting was discovering how easy the dish is to prepare—the sauce only has four ingredients—and once all of the ingredients are prepped, the dish takes fewer than ten minutes to complete. Here I’ve prepared the dish with shrimp but any cut of meat that can be quickly sautéed—thinly sliced chicken, pork or beef—can be easily substituted for the shrimp. Some of the ingredients, such as the fresh rice noodles, will have to be purchased at an Asian grocery store. My favorite is Hung Vuong Market at 11th and Washington (there is a link to the market in the sidebar). Look for the uncut fresh rice noodles that are packaged in clear plastic with red writing in the non-refrigerated section of the market.

Rad Na Thai Shrimp
Serves 3-4

6 tablespoons Chinese oyster sauce
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool before storing.
Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Rad Na:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound shrimp 16/20 count, peeled and deveined, tails left intact
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh rice noodles, cut into 3/4-inch wide strips
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Rad Na Sauce (see recipe above)
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound fresh mung bean sprouts
1 cup roasted salted peanuts
1 head romaine, outer leaves removed, cut into squares

Heat a skillet or wok until smoking hot. Add the oil and heat again until smoking. Add the shrimp and let cook on one side for about a minute and a half. Flip the shrimp, cook for another minute, and then transfer to a plate--the shrimp should still look slightly raw (they'll continue cooking as they sit and they'll finish cooking at the end when they are tossed with all of the hot ingredients). Let the oil heat up again, another 20 seconds or so, then add the eggs. Stir vigorously to break up the egg as they cook.

Add the noodles, crushed pepper, and Rad Na Sauce. Stir to combine and coat noodles. When noodles are hot and coated with the sauce, add most of the scallions, most of the sprouts, and most of the peanuts. Return the shrimp to the pan, stir well to combine and coat all of the ingredients with the sauce and remove from heat.

Divide the lettuce between 4 bowls. Top with the hot noodle mixture and garnish with the remaining scallions, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Steak Frites with Aioli

Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of dining at Monk's for the first time since the institution of the smoking ban. What a treat! Unspoiled by oppressive smoke, our Belgian ales and pommes frites with bourbon mayonnaise tasted exceptional. If you have a deep-fryer at home, recreating this classic bistro fare is quite simple; if you don't, the process of frying the potatoes will just be slightly more involved. As for the bourbon mayonnaise, we were only able to coax our waitress to reveal a few ingredients--bourbon, mayonnaise, garlic and jalapenos--the rest is the chef's secret. I've supplied a recipe for a spicy aioli, which is delicious with frites and a little less creamy tasting than Monk's famed condiment. The aioli recipe yields more than enough for two servings of frites and will keep for weeks in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Steak Frites with Aioli
Serves 2

2 egg yolks
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic
3 T. capers
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Sriracha*
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup olive oil (not extra-virgin)
* (available at Asian markets, or use ½ tsp. cayenne pepper)

1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. Szechwan peppercorns*
1/2 tsp. white peppercorns
1/2 tsp. red peppercorns
* If you can't find Szechwan peppercorns or red peppercorns, just use a mix of black and white
1 tsp. olive oil
kosher salt
2 New York Strip Steaks, 1-inch thick
1 tsp. canola oil

4 cups peanut or canola oil for frying

1 Idaho potato
¼ cup all-purpose flour
kosher salt to taste

To prepare the aioli: combine yolks, mustard, garlic, capers, lemon juice, Sriracha, vinegar, Worcestershire and salt in a blender or food processor. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil followed by the olive oil—drop by drop at first, and then more quickly once you see the mixture begin to emulsify. Taste, adjust seasoning with more salt if necessary, and chill until ready to use. Will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

To prepare the pepper rub, toast all of the peppercorns over medium-high heat in a small heavy skillet. After about 2-3 minutes, when the mixture is fragrant, transfer mixture to a spice grinder and coarsely grind. Pat the steaks dry, rub each side with the oil, then rub the peppercorn mixture all over each side. Sprinkle each side with kosher salt and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450˚F only if you prefer your steak cooked more than rare. Heat a heavy oven-safe nonstick skillet or cast iron pan over high heat. Add the teaspoon of canola oil, swirl around, then add the steaks. Let cook 3-4 minutes on one side. Flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes for rare. If you prefer your steak more well-done, transfer skillet to oven and cook until desired temperature is reached. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. While the steak rests, cook the frites:

Heat oil in heavy, straight-sided pot till 375˚F or preheat your deep-fryer. Meanwhile, peel potato and julienne on mandoline. Place potato strips in a bowl and lightly coat and toss with half of the flour. If not all of the pieces are lightly coated, use the additional flour. When oil is ready, gently lower potatoes into oil with a spider or clean bowl—don’t dump the potatoes in using the same bowl in which they were coated with flour. When potatoes are crisp and golden, remove from oil with spider or tongs, let drain slightly and sprinkle to taste with kosher salt.

Serve immediately with aioli.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Rosemary-Olive Dinner Rolls

My inspiration to make these rolls again stems from a recent restaurant experience. The other night, my husband and I met two friends for dinner for a late dinner at Meritage (20th and Lombard). We sat at the bar, ordered a bottle of wine and spent the first hour chatting. By the time we placed our order, we were all famished--a condition wholly magnified by the wine. Needless to say, the timing could not have been more perfect for the delivery of the piping hot seeded and salted rolls to each of our bread plates. Although the bartender warned us that the rolls had just emerged from the oven, none of us could refrain from tucking in. Sometimes nothing satisfies like warm bread and butter. These rosemary-olive pull-apart rolls similarly release steam as they are separated and are delicious when served immediately with softened butter.

Rosemary-Olive Dinner Rolls
Yield=9 (2-oz) Rolls

1/4 cup (2.5 oz) water
a heaping 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) whole wheat flour

1/4 cup (2.5 oz) starter
1/2 cup (5 oz) water
1 and 7/8 cup (8.5 oz) bread flour
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 cup (2 oz) chopped, pitted Kalamata Olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

To make the starter, stir together the flour and water. Let stand at room temperature until bubbles slightly, stir to combine, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, place 1/4 cup or 2.5 oz of the starter into the bowl of a stand mixer. (See note below for what to do with remaining starter.) Add the water, bread flour and yeast. Mix on low speed for one minute until the mixture has come together slightly. With the mixer running add the salt, increase the speed to medium-low and mix for five minutes. The dough should be balled up around the hook. If it is not, add more flour a little bit at a time until the dough is wrapped around the hook. After five minutes, return the speed to low, add the rosemary and olives and mix for 1-2 minutes until olives are slightly incorporated. Stop machine, scrape down dough, and turn out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead for 2-3 minutes until the rosemary and olives are evenly incorporated. Dust some more flour onto the board, cover dough with clean kitchen towel and let rest for 90 minutes at room temperature or until almost doubled in size.

After the 90 minutes, start dividing the dough. I portion each roll into 2-oz pieces, but if you don't have a scale, roughly divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat. Ball each piece of dough into a nicely shaped roll and place on prepared sheet. Place the rolls next to each other--just barely touching--so that when they rise, they rise into each other. Lightly spray the tops with cooking oil or with water, cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise again, until nearly doubled in size. Depending on how warm the area is, this may take between 30-50 minutes. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

When the rolls have puffed nicely, gently remove the plastic wrap and place in preheated oven. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. If rolls sound hollow when gently tapped, remove them from the oven. Otherwise, return to oven to bake for 3-5 minutes longer, check again, and remove when ready. Bring to the table, gently pull apart (be careful of the hot steam), and serve immediately with softened butter. Enjoy!

Note: You may have extra starter. Place remaining starter in a Tupperware container, add one cup of water, and one cup of whole wheat flour, stir, let sit until bubbles, stir again, then store in refrigerator until ready to use for another recipe. It will keep forever. I always have a white and a whole wheat starter in my refrigerator, and I "feed" them with equal parts flour and water each time I take from them.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Barely Wilted Spinach Salad

Although my kitchen shelves are filled edge to edge with various cookbooks, I always find myself referring back to a select few. One happens to be Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables. The other day I was looking for a sautéed brussels sprouts recipe, became unintentionally engrossed and found myself in the spinach section. In this section Alice Waters describes a simple method for making a warm spinach salad. It basically involves placing fresh spinach in a stainless steel bowl, tossing the leaves with a little bit of dressing and heating the bowl over a pan of simmering water until the leaves are just barely wilted. The method works beautifully and is much healthier than using the traditional warm vinaigrette created by reducing rendered bacon fat with vinegar. Moreover, it is healthier than many salads in general because wilted greens require a smaller proportion of dressing than do unwilted greens. It is also delicious. Here, I've prepared the spinach in the classic Roman style with raisins, pine nuts and sautéed apples, but the recipe could be adjusted in any number of ways. For a nice winter side dish turn your favorite spinach salad into a warm wilted salad employing this method.

Warm Spinach Salad
Serves 2

6 oz baby spinach
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 apple, peeled and small diced (I used a Honey Crisp)
1 medium shallot, small diced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
2 tsp. honey
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the honey, salt, pepper, garlic and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly. Taste, adjust with more salt, pepper or oil if necessary. Store until ready to use.

To make the salad, place the spinach in a large stainless steel bowl and set aside. Fill a straight-sided sauté pan with one inch of water and heat until just barely simmering. If the raisins are very dry and shriveled, place them in a bowl and cover with some boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes until nicely plumped, drain and set aside. In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat 2 tsp. of the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is barely smoking, add apples and sauté until nicely golden brown, but still hold their shape, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples to bowl with spinach. Heat remaining teaspoon of oil in pan, add shallots and sauté until soft and slightly caramelized, another 3-5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and the drained raisins and sauté for 15 seconds more, then transfer to the bowl with the spinach. Toss the spinach mixture with the 2 tablespoons of dressing and place bowl over pan with simmering water. Increase the heat to high and with tongs, gently toss spinach in bowl until nicely wilted. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pumpkin Panna Cotta

I love when I go out to eat and am inspired by something I have ordered. It could be as simple as the herbed butter that was served with the table bread or as complicated as the Burgundy-thyme reduction sauce that smothered the short rib. Whatever it may be, the challenge of recreating is always fun. A few nights ago I met two friends for dinner at Mercato, a great BYO on the corner of Spruce and Camac. The meal was excellent--butternut squash risotto, pumpkin fettucini, striped bass with cipollini onions--but the big hit was the pumpkin panna cotta we all shared for dessert. It was light, not too sweet and paired with a delectable pumpkin seed toffee. I've fiddled with my favorite buttermilk panna cotta recipe and have created something similar. It couldn't be easier to make and I'm happy to have found one more recipe to add to my seasonal dessert repertoire. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Panna Cotta
Yield=5 martini glasses

2 tsp. gelatin (powder form)
½ cup half and half
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
pinch of salt
1½ cups buttermilk
¾ cup canned pumpkin purée
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. In a saucepan heat the half and half, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in gelatin mixture, buttermilk, pumpkin purée, vanilla and bourbon. Strain mixture into a clean bowl or, ideally, a pourable Pyrex measuring cup. Pour mixture into martini glasses or ramekins and chill until set, 3 hours. I garnished mine with some candied pecans and store-bought hazelnut pirouette cookies, which is totally unnecessary, but complements the pumpkin flavor nicely. Also, if you don’t care about presentation, it is much easier to chill the panna cotta in ramekins: the martini glasses take up a lot of room in the refrigerator and are quite unstable.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Quince Jam

I have to admit that I am currently experiencing a minor quince fixation. It seems as though every time I pass by Anastasio's Produce (9th & Christian) I cannot refrain from purchasing a half dozen or so of these knobby and somewhat irregularly-shaped fruits for the purposes of experimentation. I feel the culinary potential for quince is unrealized, though, I've thus far really only discovered three uses for them: in the forms of paste and jam; and piled in a bowl as an unusual yet elegant seasonal centerpiece. Moreover, quinces cannot even be eaten raw--their flesh is rock hard and tastes incredibly tart when uncooked. I can thus only speculate on my recent attraction: perhaps I'm addicted to the refreshing citrusy aroma that fills my apartment when I leave a bowl undisturbed on my kitchen table for a few days; or perhaps I enjoy witnessing the dramatic color transformation from pale yellow to bright red which takes place after many hours of cooking; or perhaps subconsciously I feel compelled to pay homage to the Greek ancestry we share by incorporating quince into my diet. Whatever the reason, I can say with certainty that I simply enjoy the taste of quince, especially in the form of jam. This jam is of course delicious spread on toast with a little butter, but also makes a nice substitute for raspberry jam as the filling in Linzer cookies. Enjoy!

Quince Jam
Yield=40 4-oz jars

16 quinces
1 lemon, halved
1 bottle or about 3 1/4 cups white wine (I used an $8 bottle of Riesling)
4 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean

Wash quinces and remove any stickers, fuzz or leaves. Cut straight down around the core to remove the flesh, then cut into big chunks and discard the core. Place quince pieces in a large heavy-bottomed pot and cover with 12 cups of water and the lemon. Gently simmer until the pieces are knife tender, about 1½ hours.
Strain the quince, reserving the cooking liquid, and discard the lemon. Pass the flesh through the fine disk of a food mill and combine with the reserved cooking liquid in the same large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the bottle of white wine and 4 cups of sugar. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and place both the pod and seeds into the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and let cook for 2-3 more hours until the mixture has reduced by a few inches and color has changed to a deep red hue.
The jam is now ready to be canned. I followed the canning instructions on this website: It is quite a laborious process, but ultimately worth the effort: I now have 40 little jars of jam to give as gifts for the upcoming holidays.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Crispy Sage

A few weeks ago I was motivated to make homemade butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter sauce. When I initially started shaping the pasta dough I started questioning why I had begun such a tedious process. The first few ravioli I shaped were irregular, soggy and just plain hideous. As I persevered, however, the shaping process became easier and I finally developed my own, relatively efficient system. I froze most of what I created and my husband and I were able to enjoy this classic combination of savory sage and sweet squash for a second time last night. If you can overcome the frustrating preliminary shaping trials, I think you will find that your hard work will more than reward you with a few delicious and elegant dinners.

Butternut Squash Ravioli
1 large butternut squash (about 1 lb)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. olive oil for the baking sheet
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 recipe pasta dough (see below)

2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
8 fresh sage leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Lightly season the inside with salt and pepper, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour or until the flesh is knife-tender.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Scoop out flesh and pass through the fine disk of a food mill or purée in a food processor. Measure the purée, you should have about 2 cups (slightly more or less is fine). Stir in one cup of the grated Parmigiano. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep testing the mixture until it tastes good to you--there is no salt in the dough, so correct the seasoning at this point. Stir in the eggs, and set aside. This mixture can be made 1-2 days in advance.

Pasta Dough

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
5 large eggs lightly beaten

Mound flour in the center of a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the center of the mound of flour. Add the eggs to the center. Using a fork, beat the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. (If you are skilled at employing the "well" method on a large wooden board, go ahead and do that. I have never had much luck using a board--the eggs usually break through the mound and run all over the cutting board. I've found that the bowl helps contain "run-away" eggs.) When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, start kneading the dough in the bowl and then transfer to a large, lightly floured wooden board and continue to knead for 10 minutes, dusting the board with additional flour as necessary. The dough should feel elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.

To make the ravioli, divide the dough into 4 pieces. While you work with one section, keep the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap.
1. Lightly flour the section of dough you are working with and roughly shape into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
2. Pass through the widest setting on a pasta machine. Fold the dough in three, like a letter and pass through the same setting again feeding the short end in first. Repeat this step 2 times, adding flour as needed.
3. Without folding the dough now, repeatedly pass it through the machine rollers, reducing the space between the rollers after each pass. When it has passed through the thinnest setting, it is ready to be shaped into ravioli. (If the dough gets too long and difficult to deal with, cut it in half and feed each piece through separately until each has passed through the thinnest setting).
4. The dough should be just less than 6 inches wide. Cut in half lengthwise. On one of these halves, place tablespoon-sized dollops of the squash filling evenly spaced about every 1 and 1/2 inches. Lay remaining half of dough atop the squash-dotted sheet of pasta. (This whole process will take some practice. I can almost guarantee you that your first batch will be ugly. Once you develop your own method, shaping the remaining dough will be much easier). With a knife, cut halfway between each mound to create the individual raviolis. Gently pinch to seal the two doughs together, using a tiny bit of water if necessary. Transfer to a baking sheet dusted with flour and cover with plastic wrap while you shape the remaining sections of dough.
Note: this recipe makes a lot. I recommend shaping all of the dough (you may have extra filling which you could freeze) and then freezing whatever extra ravioli you don't cook immediately. Also, do not store ravioli in the refrigerator--they become a soggy mess. Cook immediately or freeze.

To finish the dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Combine butter and olive oil in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat until almost smoking. Add sage leaves and let sizzle until crisp, about 1-2 minutes total. Remove leaves with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside. When water boils, add ravioli and cook until tender about 2-3 minutes (frozen ravioli also take only about 3 minutes). Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. When ravioli are done, drain, but do not rinse under cold water. Heat butter and oil again until hot, add ravioli (be careful, it will splatter), add reserved cooking water, remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and reserved sage leaves. Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

No-Knead Bread

On Wednesday November 8, in his New York Times column, “The Minimalist,” Mark Bittman enthusiastically describes a no-knead bread making process. I’ve discovered that his enthusiasm was not unwarranted. Since reading the article, I’ve made the bread twice, and both times have been very pleased with the results. A rustic boule emerges from the oven truly appearing as though it had been produced in a professional bakery. The crust is thin and crisp and the interior moist and airy. It is dramatic and beautiful and comfortably feeds ten people for dinner. The next day, it makes delicious toast and sandwich bread, and moreover freezes beautifully. I’ve adjusted the recipe by adding a touch more salt than suggested in the article, and adding a half a teaspoon of sugar, which I think has markedly improved the bread’s flavor. Be sure to read the recipe through entirely before endeavoring to make this bread: you need 12-18 hours initially in rising time and 2 more hours subsequently for a second rise.

No-Knead Bread
Adapted from “The Minimalist,” The New York Times: Dining In
November 8, 2006

3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
¼ tsp. instant yeast
1¾ tsp. table salt
½ tsp. sugar
Cornmeal, wheat bran or oat bran as needed

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add 1 and 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended. Dough will be sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest 12-18 hours at room temperature.
After the 12 hours, or when the surface of the dough is dotted with bubbles, lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle a little more flour on the dough and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, lay a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) on a counter or tabletop in a draft-free area. Generously coat it with cornmeal, wheat bran, oat bran or any combination of the three. After the 15 minutes, using as much flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to your fingers and the work surface, quickly shape the dough into a ball and place seam side down in the center of the prepared towel. Dust with more cornmeal, wheat bran or oat bran. If the towel is large enough, fold the sides up over the bread so that it is completely covered. If the towel is too small, cover with another towel. Let rise for another 2 hours.
Forty-five minutes before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic: I’ve used a ceramic Emile Henry Dutch oven and a circular Pyrex baking dish) on a rimmed sheet pan and place in the oven while it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pan and pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up. This is tricky. The first time I made this I clumsily flopped the dough into the pot and it lay seam side down. If this happens, just leave it: there is no way to fix it without burning yourself, and it ultimately does not matter. So, try your best to let the dough fall seam side up, and don’t worry and if it lands seam side down. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 15-30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from oven, and turn out onto a cooling rack. This makes a mess. Placing the cooling rack inside another rimmed sheet pan helps catch the crumbs that fall out of the baking vessel. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pumpkin Icecream

I was surprised not to see one recipe for pumpkin ice cream this year in any of the ten cooking magazines I subscribe to. When one of my mother's former students suggested bringing a batch to our Thanksgiving dinner, we thought it was a wonderful idea. And wonderful it was. We served one scoop to each guest in an orange-flavored tuile bowl and the combination was delectable. If you have an ice cream maker and are maybe in need of a change from pumpkin pie, I think you and your guests will not be disappointed. If you dare not break tradition, but have the time and energy to make some ice cream as well, I think a scoop of pumpkin ice cream next to pumpkin pie would not be bad either.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
Yield=1 quart

1 8-oz can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
a few gratings fresh nutmeg
1 T. bourbon

In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the cream, brown sugar and salt. Heat until sugar is dissolved and liquid is hot to the touch. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Slowly ladle small amounts of the hot cream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. (I place the bowl on a kitchen towel to steady it while I whisk.) When the yolk mixture is tempered, or at about the same temperature as the cream mixture (after 3-4 ladles of cream have been added), pour it into the saucepan. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until custard thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon, about 3-5 minutes longer. When custard is at the right consistency, immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in reserved pumpkin mixture. Transfer mixture to a storage container, cover with plastic wrap--press the wrap directly on the surface of the custard--and chill for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
When custard is chilled, transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Add the bourbon during the last minute of churning. Serve or store in freezer immediately.
Note: Adding the bourbon is important: it allows the ice cream to maintain a soft texture even after several hours spent in the freezer. The taste is virtually undetectable, so if you desire a stronger bourbon flavor, add more than one tablespoon.

Orange Tuile Bowl

1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
7/8 cup orange juice
14 T. melted butter, cooled slightly

Whisk together sugar, flour and orange zest. Drizzle in orange juice and whisk until thoroughly combined. Drizzle in butter and whisk until smooth. (I use a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer to make this, but you could definitely whisk it by hand.)
Refrigerate mixture for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with a Silpat. Spoon tablespoon-sized dollops of batter onto prepared pan. (I only make about 4-5 at a time. This takes a little bit of practice, but the recipe yields more than enough batter to allow for mess-ups. You will ultimately develop your own system) With the back of a wet spoon, gently smooth out the dollops of batter. Bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on silpat until slightly hardened but still pliable, about 1-2 minutes. With a narrow spatula, remove tuile from silpat and place in custard cup or ramekin. Let sit in mold until completely hardened, 3-4 minutes longer, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an air-tight container until ready to serve. When ready to serve, place tuile on plate, place one scoop of ice cream in tuile and serve. Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Balls

I have to say I am very excited about these homemade "Reese's Peanut Butter Cups." Many years ago, the mother of one of my parents' students made these as a thank you gift for teaching her son, and I have been dreaming about them ever since. My memory did not deceive me either for these truly are delicious! For some reason--fear of difficulty or time or for having to use coating chocolate (something I've never used before)--I hesitated to make them. I discovered today, however, that my fear was irrational. This recipe, with a little bit of practice and patience (the whole process is sort of a long affair) is actually fairly easy and very rewarding. I've discovered another beautiful homemade gift for the holidays that I am really looking forward to giving to friends...a lot of friends: the recipe makes 165!

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Balls
Yield: 165 ea

2 cups (5.5 oz) vanilla wafers
1 lb confectioner's sugar
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
12 oz smooth peanut butter
1 lb bag candy-making chocolate disks (dark) Merckens brand is good. (I found mine at Fante's)

Fleur de Sel
paper petit fours wrappers

Using food processor with metal blade, combine vanilla wafers and confectioner's sugar. Pulse until well blended. Add softened butter, and pulse again until well blended. Add peanut butter, a little at a time, pulsing after each addition until well blended. Once smooth, transfer mixture to a separate bowl. At this point, you can either wrap the mixture in plastic wrap and chill for an hour, or you can start forming the balls. I found it easy to form the balls immediately, and then chill them afterwards. (You will ultimately develop a method that works for you.)
I used a scale to weigh each ball. Each ball should weigh 1/4 oz or be approximately a rounded 1/2 teaspoon in size. When you have portioned the desired number of balls you wish to make (you could portion all at once, but this would take a very long time), chill the balls in the refrigerator until firm (at least one hour). Wrap the remaining dough and store in the refrigerator until ready to use again.

Meanwhile, slowly melt the chocolate (estimate how much you will need) in the bowl of a double boiler. When the balls are firm, remove only a few at a time (I was working with 12 at one time). When the chocolate is melted, whisk until smooth and turn off the heat. Drop a ball into the chocolate, move gently around with a fork, and when completely coated remove ball with a toothpick. Gently lower ball into paper petit fours wrapper and gently twist the toothpick--it should ease out slowly. This process will take a little bit of trial and error, but you will eventually develop a method that works for you. Don't worry if there is a little blemish revealing some peanut butter on the top of the ball. You can fix that at the end by spooning tiny tiny amount of chocolate over the holes to touch up the open spots. When the 12 balls are coated and in the paper cups, sprinkle a tiny amount of Fleur de Sel on top of each peanut butter ball. Chill balls in freezer for 5 minutes to firm. Transfer to a stationary box (I ordered mine on-line), wrap, give and enjoy!

Persimmon Panini

If you've never tasted a persimmon, now is the time. You'll find them in the markets from October to February, but they are most readily available and affordable in November and December. Look for the Fuyu persimmons or the Sharon fruit which have sweet tasting flesh even when they feel slightly firm and underripe. If you can only find Hachiya persimmons, wait until the flesh is very soft and ripe before eating, or it will taste extremely bitter. In fact, it most likely will be inedible.
Today for lunch I made a delicious sandwich: a persimmon panini. I was inspired by my Bon Appetit magazine's December issue which gives a recipe for a beautiful and delicious salad with Fuyu persimmons, prosciutto, pomegranate seeds, baby arugula and toasted pistachios. I made a variation of the salad not too long ago replacing the pistachios with candied pecans, omitting the pomegranate seeds and adding some nice shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano. I made a simple balsamic vinaigrette with honey, shallots and a tiny bit of garlic. The combination was delectable and it made for a nice accompaniment to an otherwise boring dinner. Now, on to the panini.

Persimmon Panini
Yield=1 Sandwich

2 slices sandwich bread
2 heaping tsp. mascarpone cheese
1 Fuyu persimmon
3/4 oz Prosciutto di Parma
1 1/2 oz sliced fresh mozzarella
a small handful of baby arugula
1/2 tsp. olive oil

Preheat a panini machine.
Spread one slice of bread with mascarpone cheese. Peel and slice persimmon into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Discard core. Top with half the slices of persimmon. (One persimmon will give you enough fruit for two sandwiches, so you can enjoy the remaining slices while you finish preparing your panini). Top with prosciutto. Top with sliced mozzarella. Top with baby arugula and remaining slice of bread.
When machine is ready, brush olive oil on both the top and bottom sides of the cooking surface. Place sandwich on griddle, close top and let press until you see the mozzarella ooze out. Enjoy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quince Paste

About a year ago, my mother came to visit my husband and me in Philadelphia and brought us, as always, a delectable basket of goodies. Included amongst the spoils was a plastic container of Quince Membrillo. I had seen it in specialty shops and in Whole Foods but had never tasted it. My mother suggested we pair a sliver of the quince paste with a slice of Zamorano cheese (a raw sheep's milk cheese produced in northwestern Spain), which she also thoughtfully had included in our package. The combination was delicious. Since her visit I seem to notice quince paste everywhere: in more specialty shops, on menus as an accoutrement to cheese plates and in cookbooks as a candy. Well, last week I was inspired to learn how to make it. I walked down to the Italian Market and visited my favorite produce shop, Anastasio's. I ordered a case of quince, which are currently in season, picked it up the next day, and got to work. (You don't have to buy a case--a case contains about 36 quince--but I wanted to make homemade quince jam with the remainder.) I was more than pleased with the results for a few reasons. Most importantly, the homemade paste evoked a much stronger quince flavor than the packaged version. Secondly, the brilliant red color of the homemade paste is beautiful and much more appealing than the deep, dark maroon hue of the store-bought. And thirdly, I made enough quince paste to use as gifts for three different friends with more than enough remaining for my husband and me to enjoy at home. A gift of a nicely packaged piece of quince paste paired with a nicely wrapped piece of Zamorano or similar hard Spanish cheese such as Manchego or Roncal makes for a lovely and unique house-warming gift.

Homemade Quince Membrillo

6 medium quinces (about 2 lbs)
6 cups water
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups sugar

Wash quinces and remove any stickers, fuzz or leaves. Cut straight down around the core to remove the flesh, then cut into big chunks and discard the core. Place quince pieces in a medium-large saucepan and cover with the water and lemon juice. Gently simmer until the pieces are very tender, about 1½ hours.

Drain the quince pieces. Pass through a food mill. Transfer purée to a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the 3 cups of sugar and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for about an hour. The mixture will have reduced slightly in size, will be thick and shiny and will be rosy in color.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the quince paste so that it is approximately ½ inch thick. Smooth with a spatula and try to form into an even rectangle—it most likely will not cover the whole surface area of the pan. Set aside to cool completely.

When cool, turn out onto a large cutting board. Fill a large vase or cup with hot water and have a clean towel by your side. Cut parchment into squares approximately 2” x 6”. Cut quince paste into same size. Layer quince paste in between parchment paper and store in a Tupperware in the refrigerator.

Slice into triangles or small squares when ready to serve. Will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.