Seriously Craveworthy Coleslaw

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img_2524So, when was the last time you woke up in the morning and said to yourself, “I’m really in the mood for some coleslaw!”? I know, right? Coleslaw can be tasty, satisfying, perfect with certain favorites, but rarely crave-worthy. Unless you’re my dad.

My father, Don Bernstein (he was Donald first, and that makes the name safe from reproach IMO) turned 82 the other day, and this blog post is dedicated to him. Happy Birthday, Dad!! Dad always has coleslaw in the house. When I was a kid and I’d come down for a drink of water in the middle of the night, I’d often find Dad, in his boxers, standing in front of the fridge, munching on big forkfuls of coleslaw. Sometimes, he’d make it himself, but often, he’d pick it up at the deli.

A few months ago, when Brian was home, I saw a big, ugly, hairy knob of fresh horseradish at the market, and bought it on impulse. Have you ever ground your own horseradish? It’s kind of a revelation. It’ll blow your sinuses out when you make it, and again when you eat it. I learned how from Amy Theilen. Peel the root, cut it into chunks, and pulverize in the food processor until it’s finely ground. Then, mix in a little vinegar, salt, and sugar to taste. It is very fumish, and tastes super strong at first, so if you try it, be careful!

I think it was Brian’s idea to try adding the horseradish to coleslaw. I’d already made a version of my traditional creamy slaw with blue cheese. Throwing in some horseradish didn’t seem intuitive at first, but when we tried it, we were hooked. Creamy, spicy, savory, crunchy, a little bit sweet…this is a salad that tastes great with so many things. And you very well may wind up standing in front of the fridge in the middle of the night eating right out of the bowl!

Special thanks to my angel, Mary for helping with the post. And for making a MOVIE about it!!! So fun!

Also, before I get to the recipe, I have a bit of news. I did a Q and A for Propped! If you haven’t checked out Propped yet, you must! So wonderful, “a marketplace for modern day heirlooms.” I love these folks. Their work is stylish, grounded, and thoughtful; simultaneously homey and utterly current. It has been a terrific honor working with them and I am expecting great things to come.

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Seriously Craveworthy Coleslaw

I shred the cabbage using the slicing disk of my Cuisinart. But you can do it by hand if you prefer. The technique for preparing the cabbage comes from Cook’s Illustrated.

½ head green cabbage, shredded
2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 tsp. cane sugar
1 carrot, grated
2 tbs. prepared horseradish
2 oz. blue cheese, preferably Roquefort, crumbled
1 scallion, sliced
2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
optional: a dash of Worcestershire

Place the cabbage in a large colander and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Toss well and let stand for ½ hour or so for the cabbage to wilt.

Mix up the ingredients for the dressing (everything below carrots).

Use a towel or paper towel to blot excess moisture from the cabbage. You don’t need to be fanatical about this, a little juiciness is ok, but you don’t want to water down the dressing too much.

Now, place everything in a really big bowl or pot and mix with your hands. Yes, you can do it with a spoon or tongs, but your hands are better. Serve immediately or refrigerate until bedtime.

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Posted in appetizer, condiment, gluten free, healthy, low carb, lunch, picnic, salad, side dish, snack, Uncategorized, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Marbled Chocolate Dip (Topping or Tart Filling)

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img_2357This recipe is dedicated to my number one recipe tester, ski partner, co-parent, and sweetheart, Bob McGrath. After 30 years of marriage, we probably should be getting tired of each other, but I love him more deeply every day. The smartest, fairest, and most substantial person I know, he is also funny, sweet, and HOT. I’m so happy he was here when I tested this recipe, or I would be in a sugar coma instead of writing a blog post!

Just kidding. This stuff is satisfying enough that a minor dunk on a piece of fruit is a terrific treat. A little warm, creamy, dreamy, chocolate goes a long way. Unless you’re my fit runner husband, who can get away with slurping it right out of the bowl.

I found this recipe on Serious Eats and ran right out to buy the ingredients. I used Ghirardelli’s melting wafers, and was very happy with both taste and texture. And no, this is not a sponsored post.

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Marbled Chocolate Dip (Topping or Tart Filling)

You may use high quality block chocolate or disks. Don’t use chips. Make a vegan version using full fat coconut milk and vegan chocolate.

2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped (or use disks)
1/3 cup white chocolate, chopped (or use disks)
pinch salt

fresh or dried fruit, pretzels, cookies, marshmallows, and/or cake for dipping

Bring the cream to a boil. Put the chocolates in separate bowls. Divide the hot cream between the bowls. Let stand 30 seconds. Add a pinch of salt and stir.

Now pour half of the dark into another bowl. Pour half the white in the middle. Then the remaining dark, finally the remaining white. You’re making a kind of chocolate bull’s eye. Swirl with a chopstick. Serve immediately.

If you have leftovers, rewarm in microwave and serve over ice cream.

This ganache makes a beautiful and delicious tart filling. I used the dough from my Caramel Apple Upside Down Cookie Tart recipe to form little tartlet shells in muffin cups, and filled them with this heavenly stuff.

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Posted in baked goods, chocolate, dessert, easy, fruit, gluten free, ice cream, sauce, simple recipes, snack, sweets, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Polish Fish with Greek Sauce

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Honestly, I can never remember whether this recipe is Called Polish Fish with Greek Sauce or Greek Fish with Polish Sauce. When my sister Wendy, my beautiful niece, Tal, and I made it a couple of weeks ago in Florida, we took to calling it Confused Fish. But that makes me think of demented finned cartoon characters, so I can’t call it that.

The original recipe came from my nephew Max’s ex-girlfriends’s mother. My sister first tasted it years ago and fell so head over heels in love with it that she tried to find out how it was made. The cook was more than willing to share her ingredients and technique, but there was apparently a language barrier. So, being a talented cook, Wendy took on the challenge of recreating the dish herself. This was quite a number of years ago, and at this point, she really has little idea how much “our” version resembles the original. But it is unusual and delicious, and that’s really all that matters.

Wendy and I have both done a bit of research, and this sort of dish does appear to be a thing. It’s called Ryba Po Grecku, which translates from Polish into something like Polish Fish in the Greek Style, although there is nothing Greek about it. There is some speculation that it is a bastardization of “a la Greque,” which is about pickling. It would be a stretch to describe this dish as pickled. But who am I to argue with semantics?

There are a number of variations, but the gist appears to consist of a bed of vegetables, mostly carrots, with fish either on top or embedded. It is delicious either hot or cold. Wendy often makes extra so she can serve it right out of the oven for dinner, and then leftovers straight out of the fridge the next day. That’s what we did when we visited a couple of weeks ago; we sent some home with Mom and Dad, and ate the rest standing at the kitchen counter the next day.

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Polish Fish with Greek Sauce

I made this for two for the photos, but I’m giving you a recipe for 4. Suffice it to say, the proportions are flexible, and it’s very easy to adjust for however many people you are serving.

Make this gluten free by using GF panko, or skipping the panko entirely. Wendy uses a bit of cornstarch and sautés the fish, which is a terrific option. And you can skip the milk soak if your fish is impeccably fresh or you’re pressed for time.

Serves 4

2 pounds white fish*
½ cup milk**
2 tbs. olive oil, divided
¾ cup panko
1 very large onion, minced
8-10 big carrots, grated
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen fire roasted)
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs. light brown sugar
1 tbs. smoked paprika
pinch (adjust to taste) cayenne
salt, to taste

*I used halibut here. Mahi mahi is good, as is grouper or cod.
**It turns out that soaking fish in milk does indeed eliminate any pesky fishiness and makes the flesh sweet and mild.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place the panko in a microwave safe bowl, drizzle with 1 tbs. of the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and mix well. Microwave for 1 minute, or until the crumbs begin to brown. Mix and set aside to cool.

Cut the fish into 4 equal pieces, season with salt and pepper, and place in a bowl with the milk. Refrigerate while you prep the veggies.

Heat 1 tbs. of the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Saute the onion for a few minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients, and bring to simmer. Cook over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take a look and see how much liquid is in the bottom of the pan. If it’s soupy, crank up the heat a bit and leave the cover off to evaporate some of the liquid. If it’s fairly dry, continue to cook over low heat while you make the fish.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the panko in a shallow pan. Take the filets out of the milk and let the excess fishy milk drain off before dredging each piece in the crumbs. Place the fish on the baking sheet and give the fish milk to the cat. Whatever you do, don’t trip over the bowl, you don’t want to have to wipe that off the floor. Ew. Bake the fish for 15 minutes or until it is cooked through.

Serve the fish on top of the stewy carrots. Some extra lemon is welcome.

Two announcements:
This week, I am donating a dollar to the ACLU for every new Instagram follower .Don’t even get me started on what’s going on in the world, but I just had to do SOMETHING. So, if you know anyone who isn’t already following me on Insta, get them to do so this week.

And…because life goes on, I have a beautiful kilnload of new pots and have begun posting them on Propped. I’ll post some on Etsy, too, but haven’t gotten started on that, yet. So, shop. Because everything feels just a bit better when you eat something delicious out of something handmade.

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Posted in dinner, fish, seafood, dinner, gluten free, healthy, main, main course, main courses, one pot meals, supper, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Totally Luxurious Comforting Vegan Hot Chocolate

 

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I practice self-deceptive bird watching. Telling myself I am doing important scientific observation, I while away chunks of potentially productive time staring out the window. I never get tired of watching the chickadees.

We’ve kept a bird feeder attached to the window near the kitchen for many, many years, and we host whole flocks of winged friends all year long; cardinals, finches, nuthatches, juncos, woodpeckers, jays, and titmice are frequent guests. But the chickadees are my favorite. They seem cheerful and energetic, gracious, and friendly. Unlike the cardinals, they are not shy. Unlike the jays, they are not competitive, territorial, greedy, or loud. I think if more people were like chickadees, the world would be a much more agreeable place. So, how about a new movement? Chickadees for President!

I was hanging out thus occupied during the nor’easter the other day, thinking how cozy it was to be in my warm kitchen while the wind howled and sleet lashed the windows. It occurred to me that the only thing that would make the afternoon more perfect was hot chocolate. My dear friend and tech angel, Mary agreed with my assessment and came over to join me (these are Mary’s pretty, nonpotter hands in the process photos).

Mary is eating vegan these days, so I had a confab with my culinary advisor and sister, Wendy, who made a few suggestions about the best combo of milks; Mary and I got cooking. I pulled out some Magic Meringues for garnish.

I like really rich, really chocolatey, thick, hot chocolate that is like warm, liquid pudding. It is so intense you really don’t want a whole mug. Sip it from an espresso cup or shot glass.

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Totally Luxurious Comforting Vegan Hot Chocolate

Makes about 4 servings, 2 oz each.

¾ cup almond milk
¼ cup coconut milk*
2 tbs. cane sugar
2 tbs. cocoa powder
½ tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
1 tsp. cornstarch (optional)

*You may use either full fat or “lite” culinary coconut milk.

optional garnishes: shaved chocolate, meringues, and/or marshmallows
optional additions: cayenne pepper, cinnamon

Mix all ingredients except cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to boil. If you want to add the cornstarch, mix it with a teaspoon or so cold water, and add to the pot. Continue to heat until the chocolate thickens.

Pour the hot chocolate through a fine sieve to insure that it will be smooth. Serve immediately with or without garnishes or additions.

Feel free to add rum, bourbon, or vanilla vodka.

Variation: If you enjoy dairy, you may substitute 1 cup of whole milk for the two alternative milks. Or, to be really rich, use 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream. A lighter version can be made with 2% milk, but I wouldn’t go lower fat than that.

Make this for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day! Drink it while gazing out the window; bird watching is optional!

DebsPots make terrific Valentine’s Day gifts. I’ll be unloading the kiln today, updating stock in both shops, Propped and Etsy, this week!

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Posted in breakfast, brunch, chocolate, dessert, drink, drinks, family, gluten free, sweets, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Slow Pork Stew

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Do you ever cook for young men? Isn’t it fun?

Brian‘s been home for a few weeks preparing for a trip to Asia. Several of his twentysomething buddies have been around, too. I’ve been having the best time cooking “man food” to share with them.

They are carnivores. And they can pack away a lot of food. They’re easy to please and appreciative. Brian is a terrific foodie and we have a great time collaborating in the kitchen.

Bob and I travelled to Florida last weekend (details soon), and Brian offered to cook for us when we got home Sunday night. He marinated and sautéed pork tenderloin, and served it over garlicky cauliflower puree, with wilted spinach. It was perfect, tender and delicious. I decided to dazzle him with something similarly savory for his going-away dinner.

We discussed the options, and decided on a slow cooked stew of pork shoulder with leeks, onions, and cranberries in a white wine, orange, and mustard sauce. I served it with cauliflower risotto, and sautéed rainbow chard with currants and toasted pine nuts.

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Slow Pork Stew

This stew may be made in a Dutch oven or in a slow cooker.

Serves 6

3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
1 lb cranberries
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock, divided
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tbs. dijon mustard
1 tbs cornstarch
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large, heavy Dutch oven. Add half the pork, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, till browned, about 5 minutes; it won’t be cooked through. Remove to a bowl, and repeat with remaining pork. Add to bowl. There should be some fat remaining in the pot.

Saute, the onion and leek for about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries, sugar, wine, orange juice and zest, mustard, and half the stock, and return the pork to the pot. Bring to boil. Cover.

Heat the oven to 275°. Bake the stew for 3 hours until the pork is very tender. Alternatively, transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 4 hours; then put back into Dutch oven.

Put Dutch oven on the stovetop and bring to simmer. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup stock, and add to stew. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until sauce is thickened. Serve.

This stew is terrific with a simple green veg and a piece of good, crusty bread. Or serve it over egg noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, polenta, or spaetzle.

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Posted in braise, dinner, family, gluten free, low carb, main, main course, one pot meals, supper, main courses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potter’s Pie

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Happy New Year!!

I’m so happy and excited to (finally) share this recipe with you! It is very special to me and I’ve been planning to post it here on the blog for two years now.

This savory pie is a variation on one that my brother, Steven, used to make. Before his death, in our twenties, we got together often to cook and eat outrageous feasts. Sometimes they were glamorous-lobster and champagne. And sometimes they were simple, delicious, comfort foods, like Shepherd’s Pie. It was his favorite. He was a great skier, and for him, there was nothing better than a big bowl of this pie after a day on the mountain. This week (Jan 10th) would have been his 56th birthday, so this blog post is dedicated to him.

My brother made his Shepherd’s Pie with the traditional lamb, or sometimes with beef. And the topping was mashed potatoes. But I am not a lover of either lamb or beef, so my version substitutes organic turkey. Brian is home for another couple of weeks, and he, Bob and I are eating lower carb, so we decided to go with mashed cauliflower for the top. I promise, you won’t miss the potatoes.

This pie is the ultimate comfort food. Savory, hearty without being heavy, and incredibly satisfying. The filling is everything you want in a stew. The topping is dreamy-creamy. It would be good after a day on the slopes, in the office, or in the pottery studio. Piping hot and brown on top, this is one irresistible winter meal.

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Potter’s Pie

I use organic ground turkey here. Do no use the leanest, all white meat turkey or the stew will be dry. This is equally good with ground lamb, pork, beef, or chicken.

Though we are eating lower carb, the peas are so good in this, we decided to include them. If you are being really strict, leave them out. Paleo and Whole 30 folks, and you lactose intolerants can skip the cheese and the topping will still be lovely.

Serves 4

Organic ingredients for this dish are readily available here in Warwick. If you can get them where you live, use them.

1 ½ lbs ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 tbs. tomato paste
3 tbs. white wine
½ cup chicken stock
1 tbs. neutral oil

1 medium head cauliflower
½ cup grated extra sharp cheddar
¼ cup grated parm

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot. Saute the onions for a few minutes, then add the carrots. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey, and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat, until mostly cooked, about 5 minutes. Clear a spot in the bottom of the pan, and add the tomato paste. Let that cook for a minute or two, and then add the wine. Stir and add the stock. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or so.

While the stew cooks, prepare the cauliflower and preheat the oven to 400°. Trim the cauliflower and break into small florets. Place in a medium pot and add just an inch or so of water and a good sprinkle of salt. Cook, covered, over high heat until the cauliflower is very soft when poked with a knife, about 15 minutes. Keep an eye out and make sure the pot doesn’t go dry, if the water is evaporating too fast, add a bit.

Use a slotted spoon to place the cooked cauliflower into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the cheddar, and process until incorporated.

Choose four oven safe bowls or ramekins that will hold at least 2 cups. Or an 8 or 9 inch square, oval, or round baking dish or shallow casserole. Divide the stew among the bowls or place in the baking dish. Top with the cauliflower/cheese mixture. Sprinkle the tops with the parm. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until piping hot and browned on top. Serve immediately.

This reheats very well in the oven or microwave, so feel free to make ahead.

If you like the pottery you see here on the blog, check out my Propped and Etsy Shops. Deb’s Pots are made to use (and photograph) with food!

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Posted in gluten free, healthy, low carb, supper, supper, main courses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Cauliflower Latkes

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My mother made potato latkes for Chanukah every year when we were kids. She fried them in an old electric skillet and drained them on brown paper shopping bags. They were served with homemade applesauce. She’d make the applesauce right after our fall picking expedition, and keep it in the freezer until December. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far…ok, sorry.

Mom continued to be the designated latke maker even after I began hosting our holiday gathering. I hate the mess and smell of frying, so when my kids were very small, Grandma was the latke fairy; I provided the applesauce and the rest of the meal.

When the kids went to school, word got out that the McGrath kids were technically Jews (by dint of having been birthed by a member of the tribe). I regularly volunteered in their classrooms and somehow got drafted to create Chanukah festivities. I don’t know about you, but I find most Chanukah traditions (dreidel, the story, the songs, the giving of socks), incredibly lame. That left me with no other option but bringing a menorah and candles…and fry latkes.

I fried latkes in a garage-sale electric skillet at Kings School for years. I blew fuses, set things on fire, and reeked of oil for days, but the kids LOVED it. Brian had a friend who asked him every year, “When is your mom coming in to make Jew Fries”?

But…these days, we are all eating healthy-ish. I’ve been having so much success with things made from grated cauliflower, I wondered if cauliflower latkes would be good. The initial tests were promising. A little tweaking, and I’ve gotta say, we all liked these BETTER than potato latkes. Not kidding. They are delicious. I will make them all year. They are crispy on the outside, and super creamy inside. They are fried in a minimum of oil, so making them is not unpleasant, and you can do them ahead and reheat in the oven. Seriously, you gotta try these!

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Cauliflower Latkes

If you want these to be lower fat, you can certainly skip the cheese. I haven’t tried them with gluten free flour, but I imagine it would work just fine. You can sub any alternative milk.

Makes roughly 2 dozen latkes

1 medium head cauliflower, grated (I use the grating disk on the cuisinart)
1 scallion, sliced
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup flour
¼ cup grated cheddar
¼ cup grated parm
salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup veg oil (approx.)

Combine all ingredients except oil and mix very well. You might want to nuke a tiny bit and taste for seasoning.

Heat 2 tbs. oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Spoon a scant ¼ cup of mixture onto the skillet, flattening slightly. You can fry 4 or 5 at a time. Adjust heat to medium-high. Flip when the undersides are golden brown, 5 minutes or so. As they are done, place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Add oil as needed between batches to keep a shallow slick in the pan.

You can serve immediately or keep them warm in a 300° oven. Or, chill and reheat in a 375° oven up to a day later.

We like them with cranberry sauce and sour cream. Applesauce is terrific, too. Try making mini ones to pass around at a party.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

And, as always, click the Shop links on the menu above to check out Deb’s Pots to use in your kitchen or give as gifts.

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Posted in appetizer, brunch, healthy, low carb, side dish, side dishes, Uncategorized, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments