Sauce

My Grandparent’s made this unbelievable red sauce famous at their shop Trio’s Ravioli in Boston’s North End.

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To place order email gcremaldi@hotmail.com $11.50 per quart

Iris’ Favorite Boston Cream Donuts

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For the Donuts:

  • 250 grams of flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons soft unsalted butter
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying
    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, eggs and warm water. Mix on low 4 minutes. While the mixer is still running add cubes of room temp soft butter a little piece at a time. Making sure dough is well mixed before adding the next cube.
    2. When all of the butter is fully incorporated use a rubber spatula to clean dough from sides of bowl. Dough is sticky. Place dough in oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until double it’s size.
    3. Punch down and dump on lightly floured surface. Pat out to 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Use a 2 1/2 inch round cutter to cut out doughnuts. Place on a parchment lined sheet dusted with a little flour to prevent them from sticking. Cover sheet with plastic wrap or clean dish towel and place back in warm location until they are puffy (45 minutes-hour)IMG_3900
    4. Make vanilla custard while the doughnuts are rising. Chill in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that wrap touches top of custard to prevent a film from forming.
    5. Heat oil in electric fry pan or on top of stove until it reaches 300 degrees. Fry doughnuts for 5-6 minutes on each side. They will look like they are barely frying but that is good because they need to cook all the way through. They will have a light strip in the middle but that is ok.IMG_3899
    6. Drain on paper towels.
    7. Using a pastry bag and round tip fill donuts from side with vanilla custard.
    8. For the glaze heat the heavy cream over low flame until just steaming. Pour over chocolate chips in bowl and whisk until smooth and shiny. Dip tops of doughnuts into chocolate glaze!

For the Vanilla Custard:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combined all ingredients in small sauce pan. Whisk well. Put over low flame and continue to whisk until thickens. Scoop into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill.

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  1. Heat heavy cream over low flame until just steaming. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for a minute until chocolate chips start to melt. Whisk until it forms a smooth glaze. Set aside.

**CHECK OUT IRIS MAKE THE DONUTS ON YOUTUBE!

Iris’ Boston Cream Donuts Youtube

 

 

Rose’s Peanut Noodles

 

2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger

1 small clove Garlic (1 tsp)

1/2 cup Peanut Butter

3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (Rose left this out of her video!)

1/2 lb cooked Linguini

Olive Oil OR Water for thinning

  1. Put the ginger and garlic in bowl of food processor and finely chop
  2. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar and blend
  3. Thin to desired consistency with Olive Oil or water, with a few quick pulses
  4. Toss with cooked linguini
  • You can add steamed broccoli, shredded carrots, sliced scallions or eat plain!

Maple Pecan Scones

I fell in love with these scones at a local bakery here in Cambridge. I decided to try to dissect their
recipe so I can make them at home.  I think I did a  great job! I love that it is not too sweet and
has LOTS of big pecans and just enough maple flavor! The best part is that they are SO easy to
make! Enjoy!

Maple Pecan Scones

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut in cubes
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon  pure maple extract (optional)
1 1/2 cup whole pecans, slightly broken, but left on the big side
egg wash and sugar for sanding

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In large bowl combined all
purpose flour, wheat flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix with whisk to incorporate
ingredients.

2. Using finger tips or pastry cutter, cut cold butter into flour mixture. Do not over blend! You want
some big chunks of butter left in mixture.

3. Add eggs, buttermilk, maple syrup, maple extract and pecans. Use a wooden spoon or rubber
spatula to mix together. Again DO NOT OVER MIX! Just until ingredients have been incorporated.

WARNING: Dough will be pretty sticky! Just flour your fingers and don’t panic!

4. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. DO NOT KNEAD! YES STILL STICKY! DO THE BEST
YOU CAN and form a 1 1/2-2 inch high round circle. I like my scones nice and fat! Not flat! Cut
circle into 8 wedges.

5. Place wedges on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle each
scone with sugar (because the scones are not that sweet you can go as light or heavy on the sugar
sprinkling as you want!)

6. Bake 350 for 15 minutes. They should be a nice golden brown!

 

Lemongrass Cilantro Grilled Shrimp

I love summer! Last night was beautiful outside! I had already fed the girls their supper. I was not really in the mood for a full dinner, so I decided to pull a bag of shrimp out of the freezer. I always keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer.  I think they are just as good as the “fresh” shrimp in most markets and they take minutes to thaw! 

Last week when I was at the market the bunches of lemongrass were calling my name. It has been sitting in my fridge. I thought it was time to use it, along with the cilantro, parsley and scallions, which were also calling my name at the market. Many years ago, one of our chef’s at Cremaldi’s showed me how to use lemongrass. It is so versatile! To use it you have to trim most of the top off and the stem at the bottom. Then you have to remove the tough outer leaves. I was showed to smash it with a meat mallet to loosen the fibers and then chop it. When I add it to something like curry then I don’t smash it. I slice it into very thin, thin, rounds (like a scallion). For this recipe it really needs to be finely chopped so you don’t choke on it or get little fibers stuck to the back of your throat or in between your teeth!!! That is NOT A GOOD THING! It is almost as bad as not getting your parsley clean enough and crunching on pieces of sand! Oh, speaking of crunching on sand…lemongrass is fantastic in steamed mussels!!! 


I mixed the shrimp into my herb concoction and let them sit for an hour. I tossed them onto the grill and Voilà! Dinner! I poured a gin and tonic and went out to the backyard. Summer is the best! 

Here is the recipe…

Lemongrass Cilantro Grilled Shrimp


1lb. 26/30 count raw shrimp
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 clove finely chopped fresh garlic
4 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped lemongrass
lots of fresh coarsely ground black pepper
salt to taste

1. Trim shrimp by removing shell. Leave tail on. Make slit down back side of shrimp and 
    remove vein.
2. Mix cilantro, parsley, lemongrass, garlic, scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper together in 
    bowl. Reserve a small amount of mixture for drizzling after shrimp are cooked. Add shrimp to the rest and let sit for at least one hour.


3. Grill shrimp for a couple of minutes on each side. Do not overcook! As soon as the 
    shrimp turn from gray to pink they are DONE! Serve with a little drizzle of reserved marinade and a wedge of lemon!

Gen’s Notes
 1. If you want a little heat you can add crushed red pepper flakes or a little fresh chopped
    jalapeño pepper
2. I didn’t feel like soaking my skewers so I grilled the shrimp and then put them on the 
   skewers. Actually I only skewered the ones for the picture. We ate the others right out of
   bowl! If I had company I would probably skewer them.
3. Make sure you taste your mixture and adjust the salt. I used a lot of course ground 
    pepper (2 tablespoons)

 

The Best Fried Chicken!

Out of the clear blue sky, my parents bought two beach cottages in East Sandwich, Massachusetts. They didn’t consult anyone except their intuition. I found out about the cottages back at Christmas time, when my mother divulged the secret to my daughter, Rose.
Initially I was pissed! Why didn’t they included me? I am their only child! ONLY CHILD!! When I visited the cottages for the first time, my anger got in the way, and I refused to see what an amazing opportunity had opened up for my family.


As I sit here, on the beach today, looking out at a panoramic view of the ocean, my daughters digging in the sand nearby,  I understand exactly what my parents were thinking when they bought these two little cottages! I love you Mum and Dad!

Built in the 1930’s, I don’t think the kitchen has ever been updated. The counters are Formica and the floor is covered in linoleum.  At first imagined new appliances, counter tops and cabinets. I renovated the entire house in my mind.

 
This past weekend, when I took the kitchen for a test drive, I realized that I love it just the way it is! 
Here is a recipe for the Fourth of July!
 
The Best Fried Chicken Ever!!!
 
          1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
          2/3 cup cornstarch 
          1 teaspoon salt
          1/2 teaspoon white pepper
          1/2 teaspoon paprika
          1 quart buttermilk
          10-12 pieces of chicken (legs, thighs, breasts whatever you want!)
          3 cups vegetable oil
 
1. In a bowl, whisk  together Flour, Cornstarch, Salt and Pepper. Take half of the flour mixture and 
    reserve in shallow serving dish or casserole (makes dredging much easier). 

2. Using remaining flour in bowl, lightly dredge chicken pieces (shake off all excess) and immediately place into bowl of buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

3. Place a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Set aside.  Heat vegetable oil in iron skillet (or other heavy lined bottom skillet) over medium flame, until oil reaches 350 degrees. 

4. While oil is heating taking one piece of chicken, at a time, out of buttermilk and let excess drip off.  Lightly dredge in flour. Shake off excess and place chicken on cooling rack. Continue until all chicken is dredged in flour mixture.


5. When oil has reached 350 degrees using tongs start placing dredged chicken, skin side down, into pan. OIL TEMP WILL DROP AS YOU ADD CHICKEN. DO NOT LET OIL TEMP DROP BELOW 325 DEGREES. REGULATE HEAT BY TURNING FLAME UP OR GIVE OIL CHANCE TO COME BACK  UP BEFORE PLACING NEXT PIECE IN OIL.


6.  Fry for 8 minutes and golden brown and using tongs carefully turn. Cook for 8 minutes.
     Chicken takes roughly 16-18 minutes to cook through. Carefully remove from pan and let drip on 
     paper towel set over 
     cooling rack on top of sheet pan. Sprinkle with a little course salt and serve!

Even Big Daddy was able to relax! 🙂

 

    

Stuffed Artichokes

I am not a big fan of winter. I am a total wimp when it comes to surviving the cold weather. Around here the cold sets in, in late October, and runs all the way through May!! I always fool myself into thinking that April is going to make everything all better. The reality is Boston weather seems to jump right from the 30’s in April to the 90’s with serious humidity in July. In between, dreariness, rain, rain and more rain. The only thing that makes it slightly palatable is the blooming of the trees and flowers. Then there are years like 1997,  when the weather played a serious April Fool’s joke on us, pounding the city with 26.5 inches of snow!
I manage winter in “blocks” of time. Once school starts, my goal is to make it through to Halloween. The weeks between the beginning of school and Halloween make up the first block of my winter time line. Once Halloween is over, I start thinking about Thanksgiving. The weeks from Halloween to Thanksgiving make up my second block of winter. The second block is not so bad. Who doesn’t like Thanksgiving! I even get a little excited thinking about Christmas.  The day after Thanksgiving, the third block starts. The weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is always a mad dash, so this block definitely goes by the fastest! When I hit January 2nd things get ugly! The fourth block of my time line begins. I am usually coming down from my holiday high and there is not much to look forward to until Valentine’s Day. Except, sometimes the Super Bowl, IF the Patriots make it exciting for us!  Unfortunately, they blew it this year, so there was no reason to watch the Super Bowl. We did get Nemo 2013!! The storm made it a little exciting, but the girls had many days off from school, which brought me to tears every afternoon! 
At least the snow cheered up the landscape, transforming the winter ugliness into a winter wonderland! It looked like this…

Fortunately, I started seeing Valentine’s merchandise down at the drug store right after Christmas and that picked up my spirits. The girls and I kept busy making “love bug” cookies their school friends and teachers. 54 cookies to be exact! They were really cute. Here is what they looked like…

After Valentine’s Day I hit rock bottom. The fifth block of the time line. The weeks between Valentine’s Day and Easter, by far the longest and hardest block of my winter time line! It’s around this time that I really start noticing the very bare trees and gray skies. Our winter wonderland has turned into my worst nightmare! Mile high, dirty piles of snow lining the streets, sidewalks of ice and freezing temps with wind that knocks the breath right out of my lungs! I am working very hard to make it through the current block of my winter time line. Baby steps… like the Golden Globe Awards! Just a week from the Golden Globes to the Grammy Awards and two weeks from the Grammy’s to the OSCARS!! Thinking about Easter helps. Ah…Easter…bulbs blooming…days are noticeably longer and preparation for the garden starts! I even bought a box of Peeps yesterday.

 A couple of other things brightened up my week.  The first was I noticed yesterday morning that the sun came up at around 6 AM. The second, I laid my eyes on these beautiful, big artichokes! My heart skipped a beat! Soon spring onions and fresh peas!

We used to sell a gazillion of stuffed artichokes at Cremaldi’s. The two big times were Christmas and Easter! We couldn’t make enough. They are soooooo good! I decided to drowned my winter doldrums with a couple of stuffed artichokes!
Here are the steps to prepping the artichokes…
First step is to trim the stems and tops of leaves. The tops have pinchers so handle with care! We use a pair of scissors. Don’t take too much off! Just the tip!

`
I enlisted the help of my mother for the pictures! Thanks Mom! xxoo
When you cut the stems off make sure you they are level so they stand up like this…
Carefully drop each choke into boiling water. Push them down into the water and then cover the pot.  Boil for 13 minutes or until there is no resistance when you tug on a leaf with a pair of tongs
Once they are tender carefully pull out of water with a pair of tongs. BEWARE…be careful that the boiling water does not go down the handle of the tongs. It will burn your hands! Keep them upside down on a tray so the water drains out of them.
While they are cooking start prepping your stuffing ingredients. (See below for recipe)
It is time to stuff!

Use your thumbs to carefully open up the leaves and sprinkle filling in...

Give them a little shake every now and then to make sure the filling is getting down in there!
Next step is to drizzle them with oil. We like to use a 10% olive oil/vegetable oil mix. It is not as heavy as straight olive oil.
Don’t skimp on the oil!! You don’t want them to be dry like the Sahara desert!

Then bake until golden on the tips! 400 degrees about 10-15 minutes. Don’t over brown.

Stuffed Artichokes
(The Cremaldi Cookbook, Doubleday)
Serves 6

6 Artichokes
2 cups coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1 heaping teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
3 cups grated Romano Cheese
3 large cloves garlic, chopped very fine
3 cups oil
 
Filling can be frozen in a baggie for up to two months