A whiny and excuse-ridden treatise on time, why I didn't blog very much, and a lovely pictorial of some of my latest creations.
But summer? It vanishes in an instant! Dwindling long before you’ve worn all the new sandals you bought, or nursed a sunburn all the way back to health you suddenly realize it is autumn and you are buying pumpkins, steeping cinnamon sticks, and listening to the hum of your furnace.
And so time belongs to each of us differently.
I guess what I’m saying is I lost track of it. Time, that is. Perhaps it is because I did a LOT OF COOKING to fill its scant timeframe, and now is almost over. Sure, it was overflowing with fresh produce, baked bread, spices, sauces, desserts and lavish meals...MMM, and I can still feel them on my palate. Which may explain why you haven’t heard much from me when it comes to my website. I've been too busy holding a spatula to keep up.
Let’s look at this from the perspective of those I nourished, those who were glad I didn’t disappear to my office every night to tap out my thoughts, instead piling layers of bling cuisine in front of them. And I hope the aromas and flavors exploded on their tongues with sublime bliss.
Summer may have gone quickly but I did what I loved. And even with time and her steady metronome of turning our present into the past, and with only 3 weeks remaining until we all begin dreaming of hot cider and stews, my wish is that every season is filled with good memories, good people, and good food.
“Time” to go cook.
RECIPE: 5 Spice Candied Peach Personal Galettes
Serves 4 - 6 / Click here for printable recipe.
¼ t each of Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Cardamom and Coriander
Sprinkle of cracked black pepper
2 T light brown sugar
Dusting of raw sugar
3 T heavy cream
1 package pie crust mix for 1 crust
3 large peaches, unpeeled
4 T butter
Slice the peaches into sixths, leaving skin on. Arrange in a saucepan with the melted butter, and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander powder, and cracked black pepper. Let come to a bubble and cook down for about 3-4 minutes. Add a splash of bourbon and let reduce for another 4 minutes. Let cool. When cool arrange 3 to 4 slices in the center of a 5 inch round circle of rolled pie crust dough. You should have about 8 discs of dough. Brush the crust with the cream and dust with raw sugar. Bake in a 400 degree F oven until browned, about 15-20 minutes.
RECIPE: Ling Cod with Butter Braised Oyster Mushrooms over Honey Thyme Sweet Potatoes
Serves 6 / Click here for printable version.
1.5 lbs fresh ling cod, patted dry and brought to room temperature
2 ½ C thinly sliced oyster mushrooms (Make sure they’re dry before cooking
1 ½ C Cipollini onions
3/4 C (12 T) salted butter
Several sprigs of fresh tarragon
3 T light oil
A few slices of fresh lemon
Sea salt and black pepper
Fresh lemon juice to drizzle at end
Fine parsley micro-greens to garnish
¼ C good chicken stock or white wine
3 large sweet potatoes, about 3 – 3 ½ C, diced small
1/8 C honey
3 T salted butter
3 T heavy cream
Several sprigs of thyme tied together
Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD COD: Cut cod into 5 ounce portions, rub with oil and arrange in a baking dish about 2 inches apart. Top with a sprig of tarragon, and thin slice of lemon, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Let sit and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a 12” saucepan, melt 4 T of butter and when hot and foam on butter begins to recede, add the onions. Let sear until partially caramelized. Remove from pan. Add the other 4 T butter and the mushrooms while the pan is very hot. Cook until browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Now, put the fish in the oven. While it is cooking you can now add the onions back in to the saucepan with the mushrooms, and season generously with salt and pepper and then deglaze with the stock. When reduced by half add the last 4 T of butter and turn to low. Let simmer until ready to plate.
METHOD SWEET POTATOES:
Bring 10 C of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and nestle the thyme on top. Boil until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the thyme. Drain, and add the butter, honey, cream, and salt and pepper. Mash with a fork to make rustic potatoes or use an immersion blender to puree. Do not over mix with the blender or they will be gummy. Serve under the baked cod with the mushrooms and onions.
RECIPE: Roasted Mini Peppers Stuffed with Chicken, and Cheese with a Green Goddess dressing.
This is a slight variation from the appetizer pictured above which omitted the chicken and green goddess, instead adding the pistou. Details are in this description for each version.
Click here for printable version.
8 mini yellow peppers halved, and seeds removed. You can use red and orange peppers as well
4 T good olive oil
1 C chopped fully cooked grilled chicken breasts (prepackaged) I used an organic choice from Publix
½ C fresh grated asiago cheese
2 heaping T mayonnaise, or enough to bind the cheese
2 t herb seasoning. I used World Market Smoked Peppercorn Sage Rub
Handful of chopped cilantro
1 t kosher salt and ½ t fresh cracked pepper
¼ C green goddess dressing to garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rub the olive oil all over the halved peppers. Place on a baking sheet cavity side up. Mix the mayonnaise with the grated asiago choose combining just enough of the mayonnaise to bind the cheese into a moist paste. Divide the cheese mixture among the peppers, pushing it inside the cavity of the pepper. Then put in the chicken. I liked to stack mine high but it depends on the shape and depth of the pepper halve. The point is to make sure it can be held in your hand and eaten in one bite without it spilling. Then sprinkle with the peppercorn seasoning, or seasoning of your choice. Steak seasoning would be good, as well as Herbs de Provence. Then the salt and pepper and finally top with the chopped cilantro. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove, let cool for about 5 minutes. Place on a serving platter and drizzle with the green goddess dressing. Serve.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.