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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Sour Cherry & Saskatoon Berry Tart


Summer fruits are here and I love it!  At the farmers market the other day I saw two things I can't find too often around here: Saskatoon berries and sour cherries.


Saskatoon berries look a lot like blueberries, but they taste completely different. When they're raw they are a little bitter, but baked in this tart they taste nutty and delicious, and go great with the sour cherries.  They also keep their shape really well when cooked.


Sour cherries are amazing. I love sweet cherries but I've never used sour cherries before.  They are bright red on the outside but their juice is clear, not dark like sweet cherries.  They need to be sweetened but they have such a great cherry flavour.  I can't wait to bake more with them!


This is a super easy puff-pastry galette, but you can use the filling for a regular pie if you prefer.

I have a cherry pitter to pit the cherries, but you can use a knife if you don't have a pitter, and it's a lot less messy with sour cherries than sweet. 




Ingredients:
1.5 cups Saskatoon berries
1.5 cups sour cherries, pitted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (raw sugar) or granulated sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the berries, cherries, sugars, lemon juice and corn starch in a large bowl until well combined. 

Roll out the puff pastry on a sheet of parchment on a baking tray and poke it with a fork all over.

Mound the berry mixture in the middle of the pastry and fold the edges roughly up over the filling.

Brush the outside of the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  If juices leak from the tart, that's ok! 

Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Instant Pot Risotto


After months of wanting one, I bought myself an Instant Pot on Amazon Prime Day! 

I've never, ever used a pressure cooker before so I was really eager to give it a try.  

For my first test run, I decided to work with this recipe from Serious Eats for Miso Risotto in a pressure cooker.  I adapted it a bit with the ingredients I had on hand.  And, although the recipe is written for an electric or standard pressure cooker, I didn't find the instructions intuitive for my first time using the Instant Pot. But the results were fantastic.  



I would never make risotto the traditional way in the middle of summer.  It just makes the kitchen too darn hot.  But this method makes it very quick and easy, and doesn't heat up the kitchen!

The first thing I learned about the Instant Pot is that the actual cooking time can increase and even double when you add time to preheat and release the steam.  In this case, the risotto was still very quick and worth the effort.  



The second thing I learned, which was a big surprise, was that the saute feature gets very hot!  Never having used an electric pressure cooker, I was very surprised how hot it got.  You'd need to keep a close eye on it not to burn your garlic.


Ingredients

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry sake or sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup miso paste
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt
chives or green onions



Directions for Instant Pot

Have all ingredients measured, prepped and ready to go before turning on the Instant Pot. 

Press the "Saute" button and wait until preheated (less than a minute).  Add the oil, then the onion and saute about 2 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and saute one minute more.  The pot insert will move around, but you can hold on to the edge with a kitchen towel to keep it steady. 

Add the rice and cook, stirring for about 4 minutes until the rice is toasted and coated in oil.

Add the sake or sherry and cook, stirring until mostly dry. Stir in soy sauce and miso paste. 

Add stock.  Make sure all ingredients are submerged and there are no grains of rice or pieces of onion stuck to the sides of the pot, and make sure the rim of the pot is clean.  

Put the lid on the Instant Pot and click it closed.  A little tune will play to indicate it is properly closed. 

Push the "Manual" button. Push the "Pressure" button until the Low Pressure light is on. The timer will default to 30 minutes.  Press the minus - button until the timer says 5 minutes. 

After 10 seconds, the program will start.  It took about 5 minutes to come up to pressure, then the timer started counting down.  Once 5 minutes was up, the pot went into "Keep Warm" mode.  To quick-release the steam, press "Cancel" and turn the steam nozzle to "Vent". Depressurizing took about 2 minutes for this recipe. 

Once the pressure is released, open the lid, being careful to turn your face away from the steam.  Stir the risotto a few times until it thickens.  Add salt to taste if desired.  Mine didn't need it. 

Serve the risotto in shallow bowls, topped with chopped chives or green onions. 






Thursday, July 13, 2017

Instant Pot Duo Unboxing




I finally got something I've been wanting for a while.  The Instant Pot was on sale for Amazon Prime Day and I snapped one up.  

I got the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, 8 Quart 1200W

Check out the video for the grand unveiling.  I plan to make lots of delicious things with this!