Angela’s EASY Madeleines

Almond Madeleines recipe is here.

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Angela's Easy Madeleines

This is a plain Madeleine recipe - which is actually LEMON! There is also an Almond one on this site. I've taken the rather fussy Julia Child recipe and made it super easy.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword easy madeleines, lemon madeleines, madeleines
Servings 36 MINI Madeleines
Author misangela

Equipment

  • Two MINI Madeleine pans or regular sized pans. This recipe is for MINI, you'll get about half as many (18) regular ones. SEE NOTES.
  • Gallon ziplock or pastry bag with large plain tip.
  • Cooling rack.
  • Wire strainer to sift confectioners sugar.

Ingredients

  • 2 Large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups A/P flour
  • 4 oz butter (one stick), cut up
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice only about 1 tsp juice needed and a Tbl of zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • confectioners sugar to coat after baking

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Whisk together sugar and flour.
  • Put butter in microwave dish and melt - do not boil, use half power. When mostly melted, whisk briskly to ensure it's all melted and it will cool properly. It takes about 1-2 minutes.
  • Beat eggs.
  • Using a strong spoonula, stir together flour and eggs. Stir for a couple of minutes. Add extract, lemon zest, lemon juice and stir again.
  • Make sure butter is just WARM (if not, whisk it a bit and it'll cool down) and stir into batter. Stir thoroughly until batter is fully smooth and integrated.
  • Put batter in freezer for about 10 minutes to cool. Remove, stir again, put back in freezer for about 5 more minutes.
  • Thoroughly spray Madeleine pans with food release OR brush with butter.
  • Put batter into a gallon ziplock (or pastry bag with plain large tip) for easy dispensing into the madeleine pan. Fill madeleine cups about 3/4 - about 2 tsp for a MINI pan or about a Tablespoon for regular sized pan.
  • Make sure oven racks are in the center two. Put one pan on each rack. Set timer for 10 minutes for MINIs and 15 minutes for regular sized. Rotate pans at halfway point for even cooking.
  • When madeleines are browned to your liking, put on a cooling rack and cover with confectioners sugar. (Use a wire strainer to shake sugar through.)

Notes

If you have regular sized Madeleine pans, this recipe will make about half as many (~18 or so).  The cook time will be at least 15 minutes, perhaps more if you like them medium brown like I do. 
There is another recipe on this site for Almond Madeleines. 

Oven Risotto with Mushrooms

Oven Baked Risotto
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Easy Oven Risotto with Mushrooms

This is a spin on a recipe I ran across at Epicurious. Theirs was way too fussy, so I stripped it down and made it easy! If you love risotto and are intimidated by the fussy recipes, try this one! It's easy and really delicious! Butternut squash variation in notes!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked risotto, mushrooms, risotto
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author misangela

Equipment

  • Shallow dutch oven roasting pan or oven proof skillet
  • sheet pan

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed & cut into 1/2" pieces sub cremini, but shiitake has better texture
  • 1 Tbl olive oil to lightly coat mushrooms
  • S/P to lightly coat mushrooms
  • 1 large shallot, quartered then sliced sub 1/2 cup small diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced about 1 Tbl
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 2 Tbl butter salted
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice reserve juice
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves about 2 tsp, sub 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or more if you like
  • 1/2 tsp each S/P
  • 1 cup arborio rice (risotto)
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth sub white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth sub veg broth to make vegetarian
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped sub 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1 Tbl fresh parsley, finely chopped try to use fresh herb here

Instructions

  • This recipe can be made in one pot if you have a skillet type dutch oven or an oven safe skillet with a lid (or you can cover with foil). If you do not have these, you can start the risotto in a saucepan, then transfer to a 9x9 square dish or pie plate to bake, covered in foil.
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Prep mushrooms and toss in olive oil & S/P on a sheet pan (use parchment paper or cover pan in foil for easy clean up). Put in oven to roast for about 20 minutes.
  • While mushrooms are roasting, prep the rest of the veg.
  • Put vessel over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. When hot, add in shallot, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Cook shallots until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Do not brown, just sweat.
  • Add rice and S/P. Stir and turn heat up to Med Hi. Stir rice for about 2 minutes then add vermouth. Stir another 2 minutes then add chicken stock and turn up heat to Hi.
  • Bring to fast simmer and cook rice for about 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. The broth should reduce by about 1/3. Check mushrooms; you want them roasted and a bit dry, but not burnt. If done, remove from oven.
  • Turn off heat and add parmesan, basil, parsley and half the reserved lemon juice. Stir thoroughly.
  • Mushrooms should be done by this point. If they were not before.
  • Risotto should still have some broth on top. If not, add just a bit more broth for the baking. If using a skillet, dot mushrooms on top of risotto and cover. If using a saucepan, put risotto in oven proof dish, add mushrooms and cover with foil.
  • Bake (in the 375º oven) for 20 minutes. Check midway to see if risotto has gotten dry, if so, add just a little broth to keep moist.
  • Risotto is done when the broth has been absorbed, but it is not dry. The grains should be cooked either al dente (half way) or all the way. I like mine cooked through, but not mushy.
  • Check for seasoning and drizzle the last of the lemon juice over the top. Dot with more fresh parsley if you like and serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

This risotto can be a side dish, but I like it as the main. It is Italian mac n cheese and SO satisfying!
The mushrooms can be left off this dish, but they do offer a nice textural element.
If you'd like to add butternut squash, simply add about a cup of small diced butternut squash to the roasting pan with the mushrooms. Add to risotto with mushrooms. Easy! 
The trick to risotto is keeping it moist. It should be loose enough to pour, but not watery. If your risotto is too dry, add stock; if it's too loose, bake uncovered for a bit longer.
Cooking the risotto in a saucepan first is the method I used for this recipe. I then poured into a pie plate and baked, covered with foil. If you use the one skillet method, your cook time on the stove and the stock amount may vary. The stovetop cook time could be a bit less since the risotto has more surface area and it may require up to 3 cups of stock. Keep this in mind.
As always, DO try to use fresh herbs and do try to use shiitakes. Both will give you a better end product. But, use what you've got! Better to substitute than not cook at all. :)

Holiday Oyster Stew

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Angela's Holiday Oyster Stew

Oyster stew is a traditional Christmas Eve meal. I didn't like any of the recipes I found, so I wrote my own. This is an easy stew to make and very satisfying!
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy oyster stew, holiday, oyster stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1 large shallot, small dice (or two smallish ones) sub about 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 med carrot, scrubbed, halved and finely sliced dice if carrot is large; about 1/3 cup
  • 1 med leek, cleaned, halved then finely sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely diced, about 2/3 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced about 1.5 Tbl
  • olive oil for cooking veg, about 1 Tbl
  • 1 tsp each, S/P use white pepper if you prefer
  • 4 Tbl butter I always use salted
  • 4 Tbl flour, any type
  • 1/4 cup sherry optional
  • 1 med lemon, zest and juice about 1-2Tbl juice, to taste
  • 4 cups fish stock sub veg stock
  • 2 Tbl sherry vinegar sub white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 2 Tbl L&P Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbl Frank's Hot sauce or whatever you like
  • 1 16oz container shucked oysters with liquor, cut into bite sized pieces (they are LARGE; 4-5 pc EA) OR 1-2 dozen large freshly shucked oysters (SEE NOTES)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, up to 3/4 cup, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraîche optional, but adds thickness
  • 2 Tbl fresh tarragon, minced +/- to taste; sub basil (use HALF for dry)
  • 1 Tbl fresh mint, minced optional but lovely with tarragon or basil (HALF for dry)
  • 2 Tbl fresh parsley, minced adds freshness, use fresh parsley or omit
  • fennel fronds for garnish

Instructions

  • Do all your prep first. Have all ingredients ready to go.
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Cover bottom with olive oil and gently sweat shallot, celery, carrots, leeks, fennel and garlic.
  • When veg is translucent, add butter and when melted, add flour. Stir the flour, butter and veg and turn up the heat to med hi while stirring. 
  • Add lemon zest and sherry, stir. Add fish stock and turn up heat to hi. Bring to boil for one minute, reduce to simmer. 
  • At simmer, add sherry vinegar, L&P, Franks and herbs. Taste for S/P levels. Add oysters and liquor. Cook at simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  • Off heat, add cream, lemon juice and sour cream, then check seasoning one more time.
  • Serve with fennel fronds and a swirl of Franks. Toasted baguette is great for this soup. 

Notes

Do make an effort to use fresh herbs for this stew. They really do make all the difference.
I use a LOT of tarragon because I love fresh tarragon and it goes so well with fennel. Feel free to dial it back if you don't like that anise flavour. Or omit and use basil instead.
I like a bright taste, so I used about 2Tbl lemon juice. Tune the amount to your taste. SAME with the cream. You want a balance between cream and citrus.
If the stew is too thick, thin a bit with water. Mine was too thin, so I doubled the butter and flour.
The pre-shucked oysters are very large, they were cut into 4-5 pcs EACH. If you shuck fresh oysters, you need about 30-40 pcs, so figure your amount that way.
This recipe makes about 2 quarts. It CANNOT be frozen due to the cream.

Greek Okra and Tomato Casserole

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Greek Okra and Tomatoes

I learned this recipe from a Greek mom years ago. I've not made it in forever! But my neighbor gifted me some okra yesterday, so I decided to break out an oldie but a goodie! You can make this without the feta, but I think it's needed to further cut the heavy tomatoes.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine greek
Keyword braised okra and tomatoes, greek okra, okra, tomatoes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh okra (about 4 cups cut), cut 1/4" on bias
  • 1 16oz can crushed tomatoes or whole, crushed by hand
  • 1 small white onion, diced (about 1/2-2/3 cup)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (about 1.5 Tbl) More, if desired! This is a garlic forward dish.
  • 1/3 cup EVOO plus some for finishing
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice, 1 Tbl reserved 1 large or 2 small; about 2Tbl juice
  • S/P to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried to taste
  • 2 tsp L&P worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 Tbl crumbled feta optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Mix together all ingredients and pour into a casserole dish sprayed with food release (PAM).
  • Sprinkle feta on top of casserole.
  • Bake for 1.5 hours and check for doneness of veg. This may take 2 hours, depending on your casserole dish depth. You are looking for all the veg to be soft and cooked through.
  • Add reserved lemon juice and a couple of turns of EVOO to casserole after you take it out of the oven.
  • Check for seasoning and serve.

Notes

I served this with meatballs and it was perfect. It would be great with dolmathes as well. 
This casserole is a little tricky to get the tomatoes balanced. Try to get the flavours of the oregano, L&P, lemon juice and S/P very close before you cook. If you're using feta, check seasoning with that since it adds some salt. 
If your casserole dish is a flat square one, the cooking time will be less. I was using a deep oblong dish, so it took a full 2 hrs. This is a braise, so don't rush it. 
The tomatoes and lemon juice should cut the slime of the okra nicely. What you should end up with is a thick casserole, but not slimy. I think this is one of the best ways to prepare okra aside from the Southern way of frying it. 

Lunette’s Zucchini

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Lunette's Zucchini

This is a side dish from a restaurant I worked in back in the day. It's an unusual pairing of flavours, but VERY savoury and delicious! This is a great recipe to have in your arsenal for when the zucchini comes in and you're swimming in them!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword dill, sauteed zucchini, worcestershire, zucchini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1-2 zucchini, 1/4-1/2" slices about 2 cups
  • 1 medium onion, halved then sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbl L&P Worcestershire sauce +/- to taste
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1 Tbl dry dill 2Tbl fresh, to taste
  • S/P to taste
  • water as needed

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over med high heat. Add water, zucchini, onions and garlic. Bring to simmer.
  • After 3-4 minutes, add butter and dill. Cook zucchini until soft. Do not brown, drop heat to medium if the water is evaporating quickly. Add more water if needed until the zucchini and onions are cooked - about 8-10 minutes. There should be no water left in the pan.
  • Finish with L&P and check seasoning. You want a balance between the L&P and the dill, so use your judgement when finishing the dish.

Notes

Photography by Sheryl Julian from SimplyRecipes.com. 
This side is excellent with lemony chicken or fish.