Plum torte

  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon or tablespoon ground cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add the applesauce and eggs, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  2. Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan (but if you’re worried, you can always lightly coat it first with butter or a nonstick spray) and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon, then remaining sugar.
  3. Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter (but of course not plum juice), about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

Zucchini Basil Soup

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed and to serve
  • 1 small onion or half a large onion, finely diced (about 8 ounces; 225g)
  • 3 medium ribs celery, finely diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 3/4 ounce; 25g)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (700g) zucchini, split lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch disks
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups (1.2L) water or broth
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add leek and celery. Season with salt and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add water or broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Add basil and blend soup using a handheld immersion blender or a countertop blender until it is as rough or as smooth as you like it.

Portobello Mushroom Marinade

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and scrubbed clean

Marinade for 30 minutes in a ziploc bag.

Bread machine dinner rolls

  • 1 cup warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F.)
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1⁄4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  1. Melt the butter. Off heat, slowly whisk in milk. Take temperature to ensure it’s 70-80*F.
  2. In bread machine pan, put all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer.
  3. Select dough setting.
  4. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  5. Divide dough into 24 portions.
  6. Shape dough into balls.
  7. Place in a greased 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan.
  8. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.

Risotto

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup diced onion or leek
  • 2 1/8 cups Arborio rice (1 lb.)
  • 6 1/2 cups of broth
  • ½-1 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • ½-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1-2 oz.)
  • Mix-ins: sauteed mushrooms, spring vegetables, seafood, etc. cut small
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add remaining 1 cup onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and translucent, about 9 minutes.
  2. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains’ edges are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until rice absorbs wine.
  3. Add 3 1/2 cups broth and cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until liquid is absorbed, 9 to 11 minutes.
  4. Stir in additional 1/2 cup broth every 2 to 3 minutes until rice is cooked through but grains are still somewhat firm at center, 10 to 12 minutes (rice may not require all of broth).
  5. Stir in any mix-ins (and any accumulated juices), Parmesan, and chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately in warmed bowls.

Okonomiyaki

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  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Dashi broth
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 Tbsp (~1″) Nagaimo (long yam), grated (use gloves)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp soy sauce
  • ~12-14 oz. cabbage, chopped fine
  • 1/2 pack enoki mushrooms, 1/2″ dice
  • 1/4 lb. bacon, 1/2″ dice
  • 1 cup shrimp, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • Okonomiyaki sauce or Tonkatsu sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • dried bonito flakes
  • diced dried seaweed
  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, Dashi, salt and soy sauce together until smooth. Stir egg and yam to flour mixture.
  2. In a small skillet, cook the bacon over medium low heat until cooked, but not browned. Quickly cook the shrimp until just translucent. Drain and cool slightly.
  3. Add cabbage, enoki, bacon and shrimp to the batter and mix well.
  4. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Oil well.
  5. For an 8″ pancake 1.5cm thick, fry for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. For a 4-5″ pancake 1cm thick, fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Flip and fry for the same amount of time until golden brown.
  7. Spread with Okonomiyaki sauce and mayo. Sprinkle green onions, dried green seaweed, dried bonito flakes over the pancake. Serve hot.

Makes 6 4-5″ pancakes or 3 8″ pancakes.

Salmon Chowder

  • 1/3 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons water (30ml)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 8 ounces; 225g)
  • 4 large ribs celery, finely chopped (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (about 20g)
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice or fish broth (235ml)
  • 1 quart whole milk (900ml)
  • 1 pound russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (450g)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 filets of salmon
  • Minced fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or chives, for serving
  1. Combine salt pork or bacon and water in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated and pork has begun to brown and crisp in spots, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add onion, and celery. Season gently with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes longer. Add flour and cook, stirring, until no pockets of raw flour remain. Stir in clam juice, followed by milk. Add potatoes and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer chowder, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fully tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in fish chunks and simmer just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with minced fresh herbs.