An Evening with King Arthur Flour

by Michelle Collins, CGNE member

BonnywithPie

On Monday evening, CGNE members, friends, and guests learned how to make pie dough from King Arthur Flour’s resident “pie queen,” Bonny Hooper. Hooper taught the sizeable crowd how to make an all-butter pie crust. The 90-minute demonstration – also led in part by King Arthur’s Marketing Manager, Julie Christopher – was informative and interactive.

The event was held at Everett High School’s brand-new Culinary Center, and we were treated to an impressive spread of bites for the CGNE crowd prepared by the culinary students. We munched on delights like Spanakopita, assorted mezze dips and spreads, cheese and crackers, and Lemon Mousse Shooters before and during the pie crust demonstration.

Food Spread combined

Hooper clearly knows her stuff when it comes to pie crust, and she taught us a lot of interesting and new-to-most-of-us information about the tricky dough. Some noteworthy lessons learned:

  • The most accurate way to measure your flour is using a food scale
  • If someone in your family can’t ingest butter, the butter in this recipe can be replaced with olive oil
  • Roll the dough with a rolling pin from the middle out, going in clockwise direction with each roll. This will keep the dough in a uniform shape and thickness
  • When rolling the dough, place a piece of plastic wrap between the dough and the rolling pin. This will result in not having to flour the dough as much, and you won’t have to flour the rolling pin at all

Hooper then filled her mile-high pie with King Arthur’s Apple Pie Filling (recipe below). We were all lucky enough to try a slice of the finished product, and it basically tasted like apple-filled, buttery heaven. The crust was delightfully chewy and flaky, and the apples were cooked to tender perfection. Tasting the pie was a fantastic way to end this fun and educational evening!

ApplePie

Apple Pie Filling

-8 cups sliced apples

-2 tablespoons lemon juice

-3/4 cup sugar

-2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

-2 tablespoons cornstarch

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1 teaspoon cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

-1/4 teaspoon allspice

-1/4 cup boiled cider or undiluted apple juice concentrate

-2 tablespoons butter, diced in small pieces

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir apple slices with lemon juice; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, and stir to coat them. Stir in the boiled cider or apple juice concentrate.  Spoon the apple filling into the pie pan (with bottom crust already in it). Dot the top with the diced butter, and cover with top pie crust. Place the pie on a parchment-linked baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 40 minutes more, until you see the filling bubbling inside the pie.


Michelle is a CGNE member and a Boston-based freelance food writer and blogger, who is a big fan of eating well without spending a ton. Keep up with Michelle  on her site — The Economical Eater, on Twitter, and over at Local In Season.

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Recipe: Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

by Janet Kalandranis, CGNE member

Cross-posted from Food Beautiful

So many parties, so many people on the list. I pretend to start my holiday shopping early, but I inevitably forget. Like when you forget to buy lemons at the store. I do that a lot too. And then there’s the whole situation of forgetting to put people on the list and those last-minute awkward present exchange situations (where you get something, but have nothing to give in return). Yeah, just smile and hug the other person, it’s less awkward that way. Trust me.

Or you can just have some of these babies on hand.

My heaven

Yes, that’s infused olive oil. The little gift that I made for every smiling guest at our wedding. I was hoping they would remember this gift in the future in case I ever forgot to buy a holiday gift. It was like a pre-gift.

And if I can make 150 of these in one day, you surely can make 10, have them on hand and distribute as needed. First, you MUST have a pretty (heat-proof) glass container. And then you are off and running

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
Enough GOOD olive oil for each bottle
One rosemary sprig for each bottle

  • Heat olive oil over LOW heat. You’ll be tempted to turn it up, just eat chocolate instead. You want to heat it so you can still stick your finger in there and its warm but not boiling. (I have no way of telling you how to do this so let’s just pretend you’ll watch it for a bit)
  • Meanwhile place rosemary sprigs in each bottle.
 
  •  Once oil is heated either using a funnel (a kitchen one please) or a measuring cup (something with a spout) pour the heated olive oil into the containers. This infuses the oil with the rosemary flavor.
  • Wait for the oil to cool and close each bottle.

If stored in a nice cool place these can last for a couple of months. But let’s be honest, you’re going to want to take some crusty bread, yummy cheese and dip right in. Don’t you think?

Recipe Recap: Favorite Holiday Sweets

By Lena Hanson, CGNE communications manager

We see so many great recipes come through our feeds, and try to share as many as we can with our friends, but started to think there had to be a better way. Every now and then, we are able capture some of our favorite recipes from our members and other local influences in the New England culinary scene and share them right here.

The holiday season is upon us once again. And in so many kitchens, that means the ovens are on and the cookbooks are out. Some people rely on family recipes that they wish to share with their loved ones, and  others go out of their way to try something new and unexpected. So if you’re looking for some extra holiday spirit in your kitchen, we’re sure one of the recipes below will come in handy.

What holiday treats do you enjoy the most? Please share your favorites with us in the comments below!

Warm Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

It wasn’t enough for P.K. to tempt us with her delightful Dark Chocolate Biscotti at our Annual Holiday Cookie Swap, but now she comes up with this decadence? Pumpkin, caramel, and bourbon all in the same dish? Pretty sure she has no trouble finding taste-testers.

Recipe: Warm Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
Photo from: P.K. Newby, The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen

Dark Chocolate Cookies a-la Holiday

Some people don’t really bake for themselves, but instead with the sole intention of bring some joy to others. In those cases, it’s not uncommon for one to turn to a classic recipe source like our friend Janet did — only she added her own special holiday twist to make these cookies just a bit more special.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate a-la Holiday
Photo from: Janet Kalandranis, Food Beautiful

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog in a cookie form? This may just be nirvana of the holiday sweets variety for some.

Recipe: Eggnog Cookies
Photo from: Karen Covey, Gourmet Recipes for One

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

Everyone has some sort of treat that may defined their childhood holidays. Michelle dresses hers up just a bit with some extra red and green for a festive flair.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
Photo from: Michelle Collins, The Economical Eater

Festive Lemon Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon

Featuring healthy spices, whole wheat flour, and a lower fat content, these cookies are proof that not all holiday treats need to feel like they are an overindulgence.

Recipe: Festive Lemon Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon
Photo from: Lipi, Spices for Life MD

Looking for more holiday cookie recipes? Take a peek at all the recipes that were swapped between our members and friends at our Annual Holiday Cookie Swap!

Election Day Cake

by Lynn Paikowski MD, CGNE member

Photo credit: The Culinary Institute of America

With election season upon us, we recognize that there existed culinary traditions associated with this time. In New England of the 18th and 19th centuries, Election Day was a great holiday, ranking second only to Thanksgiving. Naturally, such a big event called for special foods.

The women (who couldn’t vote) stayed at home and baked special yeast-raised, fruited “Election Cakes” while the men trekked to the polls, sometimes having to travel great distances to cast their ballots. The rich, moist cakes, similar to Italian panettone or German stollen, were served with punch or eggnog at get-togethers when the hungry voters returned. Women of the hosting towns, where the voting places were, would also bake these cakes to serve to visiting voters. An early evening supper was another event of the day. This might include sausage, fried apples, potatoes and milk gravy, and ”Rye’ n Injun” bread, a steamed bread made from rye and cornmeal, similar to Boston brown bread.

Election Cake is thought to have originated in Hartford. In “American Cookery”, the first cookbook published in America (circa 1800), the writer Amelia Simmons mentions a Hartford Election Cake. “The Yankee Magazine Cookbook” says the cake was …”sold outside the polling place, like a one-cake bake sale, to help sustain voters”.

In honor of the women of early New England, who did their part to help keep our democratic traditions alive even though they could not vote themselves, we present a recipe for Election Cake, to help us start an Election Day tradition of our own.

Election Cake

  • 4 to 4 ½ cups unsifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup softened butter
  • 1 ½ cups very hot tap water
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup chopped citron
  1. In a large bowl thoroughly mix 1 ¾ cups flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace, and yeast. Add butter.
  2. Gradually add hot tap water to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. Add eggs and ¾ cups flour, or enough to make a thick batter. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add raisins, pecans, citron, and enough flour to make a stiff batter. Stir until well combined.
  4. Turn into greased 10-inch tube pan. Cover: let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours. Bake at 375 about 45 minutes, or until done. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Happy Election Day!

Recipe Recap: Bring on the Green!

By Lena Hanson, CGNE communications manager

We see so many great recipes come through our feeds, and try to share as many as we can with our friends, but started to think there had to be a better way. So starting today, we will capture some of our favorite recipes from our members and other local influences in the New England culinary scene and post them right here.

With winter starting to shrug off in the New England area, there are little bursts of color popping up all over. From the first signs of new grass to the shamrock decorations scattered around, you’d be hard pressed not to spot a fair amount of green as you go about your day. And with these signs of spring, perhaps you’re feeling a bit energized? So if you’re looking for something fresh and new to try in your kitchen, we’re sure one of the recipes below will come in handy.

What are your favorite green-filled dishes? Please share your favorite dishes with us in the comments below!

Baked Stuffed Colcannon

Do you think the only thing green that you should be consuming this season is your beer? This potato recipe may have you thinking otherwise. And it’s a good thing this is written as a dish for one — you may not want to share anyway.

Recipe: Baked Stuffed Colcannon
Photo from: Karen Covey, Gourmet Recipes for One

Clean Green St. Patty’s Day Milkshake

Do you secretly — or not-so-secretly — crave that McDonald’s classic, the Shamrock Shake? This recipe delivers all the taste without compromising your waistline.

Recipe: Clean Green St. Patty’s Day Milkshake
Photo from: Maureen Wheeler, It’s All Connected Natural Health & Living

Strawberry Salad

In case the sudden appearance of all the green isn’t enough, rumors have it that there are some other great colors popping up in local markets. So if you are lucky enough to happen across that perfect box of berries, you’ll be covered with this fresh salad.

Recipe: Strawberry Salad
Photo from: The Oldways Table

Greens and Grain Plate

Have a mix of greens to use up, but not sure what to do with them? This versatile dish can be made with kale, chard, broccoli, and more. No reason for waste here.

Recipe: Fresh Greens and Grain Plate
Photo from: Lena Hanson

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

Does that last bit of chill in the air have you shying away from the typical warm weather salads? Then this warm salad of brussels sprouts and bacon could be what you’re looking for — warm, but fresh and satisfying.

Recipe: Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
Photo from: Michelle, Fun & Fearless in Beantown

Mint Oreo Brownies

Think all of these dishes sound great but don’t quite satisfy that sweet tooth? Then look no further — this recipe incorporates the green of the season with that classic for all seasons, chocolate.

Recipe: Mint Oreo Brownies with Mint Buttercream Frosting
Photo from: Nicole, I Am A Honeybee

Raw Vegetable Salad

Did you perhaps overindulge in a few too many cups of that festive green brew over the weekend? This fresh, vegetable-filled salad will have you back on track in no time.

Recipe: Raw Vegetable Salad
Photo from: Karen Covey, Gourmet Recipes for One

Recipe Recap: Super Bowl Favorites

Welcome to our very first “Recipe Recap”! We see so many great recipes come through our feeds, and try to share as many as we can with our friends, but started to think there had to be a better way. So starting today, we will capture some of our favorite recipes from our members and other local influences in the New England culinary scene and post them right here.

With all of the excitement in the air — particularly in New England — we figured some Super Bowl-ready recipes would be just what everyone could use. Whether you are looking for a new addition to your table, or just some ideas to start, we’re sure at least one of the recipes below will come in handy.

What will you be serving at your Super Bowl party? Please share your favorite dishes with us in the comments below!

Super Bowl Salad

Are you looking to add something a little bit healthier to your table this year? This salad brings together all sorts of great ingredients — kidney beans, barley, peppers, black-eyed peas, and more — with minimal effort required.

Recipe: Super Bowl Salad
Photo from: The Oldways Table

Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili

What’s a Super Bowl party without some chili, right? But if you feel like your table has enough meat on it already, this new take on chili offers up a great combination of flavors with a healthy dose of protein.

Recipe: Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili
Photo from: Karen Covey, Gourmet Recipes for One

Chocolate Strawberry Footballs

Why settle for a plain old tray of cookies, when you could put out a tray of these festive treats? All it takes is a little bit of creativity, and you will be sure to satisfy just about every sweet tooth in the room.

Recipe: Chocolate Strawberry Footballs
Found by: m.blog
Photo Credit: Domestic Fits

Chocolate Beer Chili

Not sure if you can get away without serving up a chili made for the carnivores? No problem, this chili recipe will keep them happy. Made with bacon, beer, and chocolate — who will be able to resist?

Recipe: Chocolate Beer Chili
Photo from: Renee, Eat.Live.Blog.

Ginger-Soy Glazed Wings

It has been estimated that Americans would consume 1,250,000,000 chicken wings — or 1.25 billion — during this year’s big game. But you have to wonder how many of those will be as delicious as these Ginger-Soy Glazed Wings. A little bit sweet and a little bit savory, add a batch of these to your table and everyone may forget who they are rooting for in the game and start cheering your name instead.

Recipe: Ginger-Soy Glazed Wings
Photo from: Megan, Delicious Dishings

Kickin’ Kale Salad

After any over-indulgence Sunday, you may want something a little bit lighter on your plate Monday. This substantial, and filling, salad is full of nutritious ingredients but doesn’t include one leaf of lettuce. All in all, it offers a clean start for a new week.

Recipe: Kickin’ Kale Salad
Photo from: Maureen Wheeler, It’s All Connected Natural Health & Living

Pasta Wednesday, Brought to Life

by Janet Kalandranishttp://foodbeautiful.blogspot.com/

I have a friend who eats pasta the same night every week, “pasta Wednesday” as I’ve termed it. I once asked her if it’s simply pasta with jar sauce each week or if there was room for creativity. She assured me that she was currently accepting recommendations.

A bowl of pasta is much more than boiling some water to heat up a quick weeknight dinner. There’s something so comforting about the idea of coming home and easily creating a satisfying dinner to answer a day’s worth of problems. I think back to those late nights when my dad used to reheat some pasta leftovers in a skillet and somehow this created the tastiest dish that I’d remember for weeks.

Over the years my pasta palette has evolved. What started out as an easy childhood meal has grown to a canvas for light, fresh summer meals or bold, warming dinner parties. I love how you can never go wrong with a pasta dish and the feeling of home this kitchen staple delivers.

When figuring out how to shake up pasta Wednesday, the goal was to provide a more luxurious experience; one that tastes gourmet but doesn’t take much more effort than boiling the pasta and warming some jar sauce. Luckily, at this time of year (my favorite!), you can find the sweetest little bundles of flavor in any home grown tomato. It’s funny how during the winter months I forget what a real tomato should taste like and I question whether they really can be that delicious…the answer is yes!

A simple pasta tossed with garlic, tomatoes, and basil topped with feta can showcase summer tomatoes but can also bring winter tomatoes to life. This recipe screams pasta Wednesday – with minimal ingredients (that, like most CGNE members, you likely have on hand at all times) it doesn’t feel out of the workweek rush, but rather slows you down a bit. It’s this middle of the week meal that forces you to sit down, talk, and enjoy the company of others. And the thing that makes it work is the ingredients.

Starting with the tomatoes, if you can pick some from a garden (preferably your own – I don’t want to be responsible for you stealing the neighbors bounty) then that’s the way to go. However if it’s the dead of winter or there are no veggies to pick, simply buy 2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes. Roasting or sautéing these little guys until they burst concentrates their flavor to remind you exactly why you fell in love with tomatoes.

Olive oil, although a kitchen condiment, deserves more thought than what’s on sale that week. By using extremely flavorful oil you’ll taste a difference in this pasta Wednesday dish. I tend to buy imported olive oil from the Mediterranean, but my advice is to sample and see what you like best. The idea is that this staple should never be bland and never just popped into the cart – this dish will prove that out.

Pasta Wednesday needs to go with the flow, it can’t be stressful and it can’t stop the rest of the week in its tracks. This recipe does just that – if you have other veggies grill them up and toss them in. If you’re looking for a heartier meal, add some grilled steak, ahi tuna, or some chicken from the night before. The idea is to learn the structure of this recipe and then get creative. Maybe add some roasted onions and blue cheese for a rich warm winter dish or swap in some fresh mozzarella or parsley at the first sight of spring. Whatever you choose just remember not to stress…’cause pasta Wednesday is meant to be easy, fun, and a little crazy!

Finished Dish: Pasta with Garlic, Tomatoes, and Feta

What a delicious way to end a busy Wednesday!

Pasta with Garlic Tomatoes & Feta

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound linguine or any other long pasta
  • 2-5 cloves garlic minced (depending on how much you love garlic)
  • 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes (preferably fresh)*
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 block feta (8 ounces, preferably in brine)
  • 1/3 cup GOOD olive oil (imported from Italy or Greece, or a lighter option from California or Oregon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a rolling boil. This doesn’t mean a pinch of salt but a big handful – you’re looking to mimic the ocean and really flavor the pasta. Let’s be honest plain pasta in plain water can be quite boring
  2. While you wait for the water to come to a boil, place the minced garlic and 1/3 cup of olive oil in a medium skillet (big enough to hold the pasta) over low heat to infuse the oil until you can smell the garlic slightly simmer. You want to be careful not to burn the garlic. As soon as you can smell “garlic” add the cherry or grape tomatoes, a pinch of salt and the same of pepper. At this point you can turn the heat up to medium and stir occasionally. You’re waiting for the tomatoes to burst open – you’ll even hear a noise if you’re paying attention.
  3. Add the pasta to the now boiling water and cook until al dente (follow package directions for time). Drain pasta, reserving some of the starchy cooking water.
  4. Turn off the heat on the skillet and add the pasta to the pan and toss – if the pasta is looking sticky feel free to add some starchy pasta water that you reserved. Pour into a large serving bowl, add crumbled feta and the chopped basil. Continue to toss and add any additional pasta water to loosen the dish.
  5. One quick taste to adjust the seasonings and serve immediately!

*Note: Alternately you can roast the tomatoes in the oven at 400◦F by placing them on a baking sheet with the minced garlic and mixing with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and coating with salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes until you see the tomatoes deflate and their flavor will be concentrated.