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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Deck the Cheese Plate: Four Minimal-Effort Recipes

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Local cheeses and spiced quince compote - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Local cheeses and spiced quince compote
The recent release of the first-ever Oxford Companion to Cheese — edited by University of Vermont nutrition and food science professor Catherine Donnelly — inspired me to spend a chunk of my paycheck on Vermont-made cheddar, goat’s milk tomme, Camembert aged in its bloomy rind, and a gorgeous wedge of blue that my next-door neighbors can probably smell.

Usually, the only accoutrement I like with a cheese plate is a good knife and a box of crackers (Patchwork Farm & Bakery’s “Everyday Matzoh” crackers, here’s to you). But it’s the holiday season and I’m feeling fancy.

To accompany your decked-out holiday cheeseboard, here are four minimal-effort trappings to complement that great Vermont dairy.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gremolata: The Trio of Parsley, Garlic and Lemon Rind

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 3:57 PM

Chopping curly parsley for gremolata - H.B. WILCOX PHOTOGRAPHY
  • H.B. Wilcox Photography
  • Chopping curly parsley for gremolata
Gremolata is an Italian condiment made from chopped parsley, crushed garlic and fine shavings of lemon zest. Perhaps some salt to taste. That's it.

The salsa's simplicity makes it an unfussy last-minute addition to a meal,  but the modest preparation is hardly a reflection of the taste. Gremolata adds a wallop of flavor that enhances the profile of a dish without throwing it off balance; it's bright parsley, a bite of lemon rind and the mellow sweetness that comes from crushing garlic to a paste under the heel of your knife.  

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Breakfast Club: Homemade Goat's Milk Ricotta on Toast

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Homemade goat's milk ricotta - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Homemade goat's milk ricotta
I’m a toast person, though it must be thick-cut — that’s my only requisite. Toppings might range from a rubbed clove of garlic and a couple fried eggs to a smear of peanut butter (creamy) and jam (raspberry). Depending on my mood and the weather, the toast may be decked with butter and honey or kept plain to dunk in coffee and cream. It’s a breakfast staple I’ve clung to since elementary school, when I’d eat white-bread toast — center first, crusts last — before the early morning walk. 

Lately, my favorite way to dress a slice is with a few spoons of tender, homemade ricotta curds. I learned how to make ricotta from a friend’s Sicilian grandma, and it’s dead simple. There are just four factors: whole-fat milk, salt, acid and heat. After that, you need a saucepan, a cheesecloth and 20 minutes.

If you have ever tasted supple, just-made ricotta curds still warm in their cloth basket, you most likely understand their power to propel you out of bed faster than the promise of dark roast.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Raw Beet Carpaccio With Mascarpone, Hazelnuts and Summer Herbs

Posted By on Sat, Jul 23, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Raw beet carpaccio - H.B WILCOX PHOTOGRAPHY
  • H.B Wilcox Photography
  • Raw beet carpaccio
I ordered beets from Elmer Farm in Middlebury and opened up a box of jewels. Spiraled orbs of Chioggia beets, garnet-hued red beets and golden beets so vivid they might have swallowed our summer sun whole.

I didn’t want to steam or roast these gems, fearing they would lose their color. Instead, I took inspiration from a dish I worked one night at Zuni Café in San Francisco. That evening, one of the chefs, Joe, created a gorgeous spread of slivered beets layered with circles of grapefruit and navel orange, the plate garnished with nothing more than a pinch of flaked salt and a thin float of Prosecco. It was striking. Those colors had come straight from the ground — no dyes or droplets, just a hit of red, orange and gold on a white café plate.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Salted: Browned-Butter Vinaigrette

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 7:50 AM

Salad with smoked mussels and browned-butter vinaigrette - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Salad with smoked mussels and browned-butter vinaigrette
One of my passions is teaching people to create their own simple recipes, by demonstrating how to take an existing recipe and break it down to its components.

When I'm instructing people on this concept, I typically use basic vinaigrette as an example. The dressing is primarily made of two building blocks: fat and something acidic. 

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Breakfast Club: Eggs Under Stuff

Posted By on Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Tomato and cheese frittata over spinach with micro-basil and a corn tortilla - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Tomato and cheese frittata over spinach with micro-basil and a corn tortilla
When I have just a few minutes to make breakfast, I invariably make "eggs over stuff": a pair of sunny-side-up eggs on top of whatever I've got kicking around in the fridge. It might be leftovers from the previous evening's dinner, a green salad, corn tortillas with salsa — pretty much anything. In the time it takes the eggs to sizzle in the pan, I can assemble the other ingredients, and that's all there is to it. 

On the other hand, if I have a little extra time in the morning, I make "eggs under stuff." It's the quick-cooking lovechild of an omelette and a frittata. I put the oven on broil, crack and whip two eggs together in a bowl with salt, pepper and herbs, and pour the mixture into a pan coated with hot butter. Cook on the stovetop until the bottom is set but the top is still wet, and slide it into the oven. (Make sure you use an oven-worthy pan!)

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fat Roasted Asparagus With Poached Eggs and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Posted By on Sun, Jun 26, 2016 at 1:42 PM

Asparagus with poached eggs and breadcrumbs - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Asparagus with poached eggs and breadcrumbs
I keep a one-gallon bag of homemade breadcrumbs tucked in the freezer. The bag grows fatter week by week with odd ends of olive loaves, stale bagels, nubs of potato bread and too-old slices of homemade rye. The bread scraps will get slicked with olive oil and toasted into croutons; those that remain will be pulsed in a blender and zipped into the freezer bag. There they remain, until meatballs need making or a pile of spaghetti with herbs and cream begs for an extra hit of texture.

Currently, I have a favorite way to use those breadcrumbs waiting in my freezer. Determined to celebrate asparagus season as long as possible, I blanketed a platter of fat, roasted spears with toasted breadcrumbs and a few poached eggs. The runny orange yolks — courtesy of hens Alice, Riggs, Garfield, Houdini and George Costanza (yup, I know they're female) — mingle with the tender-sweet stalks and golden breadcrumbs for a dish that meets all go-to notes of color, flavor and texture. Here’s the recipe.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Salsa Verde With Preserved Lemon

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 4:09 PM

  • H.B Wilcox Photography /
  • Preserved Lemons
It seemed to happen overnight: After a couple days steeped in heat and humidity, the rain clouds rolled in with an evening thunderstorm. My garden drank it up. The raised bed of herbs in the backyard seemed to bolt within 24 hours. Parsley. Chives. Big, downy leaves of mint.

I remembered the lemons I preserved last winter: scored, salted, packed in a mason jar and eventually forgotten in the back of my refrigerator — until the season's first herbs reminded me of a favorite recipe: Salsa verde with preserved lemons.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Sugar High! Gelato at Sotto Enoteca

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Chocolate gelato - MELISSA HASKIN
  • Melissa Haskin
  • Chocolate gelato
Walk a few steps up St. Paul Street from Trattoria Delia and you’ll find Sotto Enoteca. Same menu, same kitchen staff, different ambiance. Last Friday, I visited the cozy Burlington wine bar for an early dinner. I sipped WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey with a single square ice cube. Whiskey because my appetizer was chocolate.

To be specific, it was a profiterole — chocolate-covered, gelato-filled pastry. Think éclair but filled with Italian-style ice cream. Mine was stuffed with the vanilla version of the frozen treat. I found this to be a nice balance with the chocolate. However, halfway through the mountain of dessert, I still had to call in reinforcements. I couldn’t finish it alone.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Farmers Market Kitchen: Root Cellar Galette

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

  • Hannah Palmer Egan
'Tis the season when markets are few and far between, and when farm stands tend to close at dusk, which comes earlier every day. That makes it tough to get farm-fresh vegetables with any frequency, except from the grocery. The good news is, autumn's harvest keeps for weeks, so you can stock up without fear of spoilage.

Right now, my crispers are stuffed with carrots from my last trip to mom's garden, beets from the Intervale's Half Pint Farm (from a weeks-ago trip to City Market), aging celery and a box of cranberries from Cranberry Bob. On the counter, my bowl of onions, garlic and shallots overfloweth.

A while back, I made a bunch of pie crusts and froze a few for a lazy day when I wanted pie, and, wanting to do something fun with this assortment of cool-weather produce, I threw together a quick (and beautiful!) savory galette with some cheese.

Like most of my farmers market recipes, this one is endlessly tweakable — mix and match the roots, swap shallots for onions or cheddar for pecorino (these will behave differently when baked but both will work), and voila! An impressive but easy supper awaits.

Oh, the joys of freezing pie crust! 

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