The Bell Kitchen

Seasonal

Warm up this Winter!

Old Man Winter has arrived in the Czech lands to officially usher in the season of comfort and hibernation. Home cooks rejoice! From homestyle casseroles that steam the wintry windows to crock pot stews to share with family and friends, winter is truly the time to learn new cooking skills and recipes. Maybe it’s a classic French coq au vin you’ve always been meaning to make or a sourdough stuffing with roasted chestnuts to bake, too? Some of us find that shorter days and cooler temperatures are optimal weather to cook – and I couldn’t agree more.

Now in season are chestnuts, leeks, passion fruits, and persimmons. Endive and Brussels sprouts, too. And don’t forget sweet potatoes, turnips, or the collard greens. There is much in store for this season so come join me in my city winter kitchen, won’t you? And while you’re here, I invite you to pull up for a story or two, too.

Featured recipes of Winter 2015-2016:

Dresden Christmas Stollen
Bake this authentic German favorite this Christmastime!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups (600 g) raisins
  2. 4 tbsp rum
  3. 8 cups (1 kg) flour
  4. 1-2 cups (250-500 ml) milk
  5. 2 packages dry yeast or 2 cubes of fresh yeast
  6. 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. Grated rind of 1 lemon
  9. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  10. 1 lb (450 g) unsalted butter
  11. 3.5 oz (100 g) chopped almonds
  12. 4 oz (113 g) candied lemon peel, finely chopped
  13. 4 oz (113 g) candied orange peel, finely chopped
  14. Unsalted butter for coating
  15. Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Soak raisins in rum overnight.
  2. Combine flour, milk, yeast, sugar, salt and butter to form a smooth yeast dough. Incorporate almonds, candied lemon and orange peel, nutmeg and raisins, one after another always kneading the dough thoroughly. Let rest for 1 hour, covered, and away from drafts. Knead the dough once more, divide into two and shape two Stollen loaves.
  3. Center your baking rack. Bake for appx 1 hour in a preheated oven at 350 F (170 C) or until a toothpick comes to clean.
  4. After baking the Stollen, brush them with melted butter and dust generously with confectioner’s sugar. Allow the Stollen to absorb the juices for at least 1 week before cutting.
The Bell Kitchen http://thebellkitchen.com/
Caramelized Garlic, Spinach, and Cheddar Tart
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Ingredients
  1. Pastry dough (appx 2 cups)
  2. 5 large eggs
  3. 3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled
  4. 1 tbsp olive oil
  5. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  6. 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  7. 1 tsp rosemary
  8. 1 tsp thyme
  9. Ground black pepper
  10. 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  11. 2 cups baby spinach
  12. ¾ cup sour cream
  13. ¾ cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C) and place your baking rack in the lower third of your oven. Roll dough out over a floured surface then over your tart baking dish. With a fork, gently make vents. Cover with parchment paper and cover with either weights or beans and bake for 10-12 mins. Remove partially baked pastry shell and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil and add the garlic. Cook for appx 3 minutes or until soft. Drain. Heat oil and return garlic to pan. Sautee until slightly brown and add 1 cup water and vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 12 minutes. Add the maple syrup, thyme, and rosemary. While your garlic is caramelizing, whisk 5 eggs rapidly and add the sour scream and heavy cream. Salt and pepper for taste. Check garlic and remove from heat.
  3. To assemble: add cheddar to the bottom, cover cheese with baby spinach, then add your egg mix, then add the garlic with remaining syrup. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 F (170 C) until golden brown. Let cool.
Notes
  1. Ideal for an appetizer or pair with a salad and crisp white wine as a main course.
The Bell Kitchen http://thebellkitchen.com/
Honey Brûlée
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped & split
  2. 3/4 cup honey
  3. 1 cup tepid milk
  4. 3 cups tepid heavy cream
  5. 8 large egg yolks or 10 medium
  6. 3/4 tsp salt
  7. Sugar for caramelizing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C) and set the baking rack to the lowest part of the oven
  2. In a medium-sized sauce pan, bring honey and vanilla to a slow boil over medium heat. Whisk continuously. Caramelize honey until brown, appx. 5-8 min, and until the foam begins to subside
  3. Add the milk/cream mixture to the honey, combine thoroughly, and set aside to cool
  4. In a large bowl, add salt to the egg yolks and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Remove the bean pod. Slowly add the milk/cream by drops at first, whisking continuously, and add the rest of the mixture
  5. In a large baking dish, assemble the ramekins and evenly distribute the custard. Add boiling water to the dish until the water level reaches 3/4ths of the way up the ramekins. Bake for 55-65 minutes, turning the dish at the 30 minute mark. Custards are baked once the edges are firm but the middle jiggles slightly
  6. Remove from oven a chill for min. 1 hour then place in the refrigerator to thoroughly set - appx. 2 hours. Custards will last for up to 5 days
Notes
  1. Just before serving, add a small amount of sugar and, with a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar. Repeat this step twice leaving a minute in between heat applications to ensure a satisfying, crispy crust.
The Bell Kitchen http://thebellkitchen.com/
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  2. 3 1/2 cups of mushrooms (varying, I use at least 3 types of fungi), quartered or halved
  3. 7 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  4. 2/3 cup of leek or scallions OR 1/4 cup shallot
  5. 1/3 cup shredded carrot
  6. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  7. 1 tsp lemon juice
  8. Butter
  9. Extra virgin olive oil
  10. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large, non-stick skillet, sauté mushrooms in batches with salt, fresh cracked pepper, a pinch of rosemary, and Provençal herbs in EVOO and 1 tbs butter. Place to the side (Note: mushrooms will not brown if crowded or wet. After washing mushrooms, pat dry with a kitchen town. Cook mushrooms in batches and place in a medium-sized bowl)
  2. Heat stock on medium-high, cover, and reduce to medium-low
  3. In a large, non-stick skillet, sauté leeks or shallots and carrot in 1 tbs butter and EVOO. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper. When the leeks/shallots/carrots are tender, reduce to medium-low and add rice for 3-4 minutes until the risotto edges are translucent. Add 1/2 cup wine and cook until it is absorbed (3-4 minutes). Add 3/4 cup warm stock after wine is absorbed. Continue this step every 3-4 minutes (Note: you may not use all your stock but it should be on hand). After 10 minutes, add your mushrooms into the skillet and 1 tbs butter. Add 1 tsp lemon juice
  4. Continue to ladle your stock in 3/4 cup intervals until risotto is creamy and tender
  5. Remove from heat and stir in your Parmesan cheese
Notes
  1. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, shreds of Parmesan cheese, and lemon wedge. Serve in a warmed casserole dish.
The Bell Kitchen http://thebellkitchen.com/

Vegetarian Pot Pie
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 medium large russet potatoes
  2. 2 medium shredded carrots
  3. 3 cups of mixed mushrooms
  4. 1 cup peas
  5. ½ cup scallion
  6. ¾ cup leek
  7. 1 shallot
  8. 1 cup vegetable stock
  9. 1 cup whole milk
  10. 7-8 ounces of pastry dough, rolled out to 1/8 inch
  11. ¼ cup flour
  12. 1 egg yolk
  13. Butter
  14. Seasoning (recommended: thyme, chives, parsley, oregano)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C) and center your baking rack in the middle of the oven
  2. Clean and dry mushrooms, quarter or halve them, sauté with butter, minced shallot, and seasoning (cracked pepper, salt, pinch of rosemary, pinch of Provençal herbs). Set aside. Begin to cook the scallions with the leeks. Once turning translucent, add the shredded carrot and peas and cook over medium low. Add the potatoes to the scallion/leeks and sauté until soft (appx 10 minutes). Add mushrooms back into the pan. Toss vegetables in flour to lock in their flavor. Add 1 cup milk and 1 cup stock to the vegetables and simmer on low (appx 5 minutes). Taste and correct seasoning
  3. Butter your casserole dish and pour vegetable mixture in
  4. Roll pastry dough over the casserole dish, making a design in the middle of the dough (to vent) and decorate the edges if desired
  5. Mix 1 egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water and stroke gently over the dough
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving
Notes
  1. Storage: Casseroles and pot pies can last under refrigeration for up to 4 days and can be reheated either in a microwave or oven at 350 F, 170 C
The Bell Kitchen http://thebellkitchen.com/

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