Sunday, August 9, 2009

Applesauce Granita with Maple Yogurt

2 cups unsweetened applesauce
juice from 1/4 lemon

Mix together in a shallow pan and place in freezer for 1 hour.

Yogurt topping:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Remove granita from freezer and stir/scrape it apart with a spoon/fork to create a 'shaved ice' texture. Spoon into a dessert bowl and top with a spoonful of the yogurt topping.

Cafe Green Salad

Mustard Vinaigrette:

* 1 garlic clove, sliced in 1/2
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* Small splash soy sauce
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons olive oil


3 cups mixed greens, the darker the better (not iceberg)

Rub the inside of a large wooden bowl with the garlic clove and then either discard it or save it for another use. Put the mustard in the bowl and whisk in the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce (a French secret!) vigorously for about 10 seconds to get a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle in the olive oil as slowly as possible with 1 hand while whisking as quickly as possible with the other hand to emulsify. Lay the salad greens on top of the dressing and toss just before serving.

Potato-Bacon Torte

* 4 strips bacon
* 3 sprigs fresh thyme
* 2/3 cup heavy cream
* 2 Pie Crusts, recipe follows
* 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
* 1 egg yolk, whisked with a splash of water


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until just crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble the bacon when cool to the touch.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the thyme and cream over low heat to a bare simmer. Turn off the heat and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.

Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then finely slice the potatoes. Working in circles, arrange the potato slices in the pie crust, stopping to season each layer with salt, pepper, and about 1/4 of the crumbled bacon. Continue layering until the pie pan is nearly full. Top with an even layer of the cheese and gently pour cream around and over the entire pie, allowing it to seep down between the potato slices. (You may not use all the cream.)

Roll out the remaining disk of refrigerated dough. Cover the pie with the dough and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top and edges of the crust with egg wash. Make a few slits in the center of the top crust, for the steam to escape, and put the pie pan on a baking sheet. Bake the torte until the crust is browned and crispy and the potatoes are cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. If the crust edges get too brown, cover them with some strips of aluminum foil. Remove the pie from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Pie Crust:

* 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Put the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps. Transfer equal amounts of the dough into 2 resealable plastic bags and pat each into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove 1 of the disks from the bag to a flour coated surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch round. Gently fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the torte ingredients.

Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts