Matcha Tiramisu

Matcha Tiramisu

Sake and Matcha replace coffee and Kahlua in this delectable green tea dessert

I absolutely love tiramisu and am always experimenting with new versions of this delicious dessert. Walking through Central Park I was captivated by the beautiful cherry blossoms exploding throughout the park. It’s as if these trees are screaming to be let out after a long, cold winter. The pink and white blooms look so beautiful against the bright blue sky and sprinkled on the ground after they fall. Spring is my favorite time of year. A season of hope for new things to come.

The cherry blossoms reminded me of a delicious sweet, dry sake that I had tasted a couple of weeks ago. The sake is called Kizakura”Hana Kizakura” and it is made from a yeast extracted from cherry blossoms. The result is a lightly sweet, dry sake that reminds you of walking through a cherry orchard. This sake is the perfect Spring/Summer aperitif and can also be used for sake martinis. You can purchase the sake here through TIPPSY SAKE. I decided to develop a recipe for matcha tiramisu using this sake. The matcha tiramisu is light, aromatic and is perfect to serve in the Spring and Summer. Matcha Tiramisu is quite simple to prepare and is a no bake dessert that requires time in the refrigerator. This makes it ideal to serve when you have company coming over.

Making Zabaglione

Fill a sauce pan with an inch of water and bring the water to a simmer. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl and place over the sauce pan. Make sure the heat proof bowl is not touching the water, it needs to be over the water. Beat the mixture until pale yellow and triple in size. This will take around 8-10 minutes. When the egg yolk mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly while you beat the heavy cream in a separate bowl. Once the heavy cream is beaten into soft peaks, fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture. Be careful not to deflate the cream, you want to gently incorporate the two.

What Kind of Matcha Should I Use?

There are many different varieties of matcha available. I love the matcha from tea forte. It’s stone ground, smooth and bright and works perfectly with the creaminess of the tiramisu. There are flavored matcha as well. Adagio teas makes a delicious chocolate matcha that is great for sprinkling on top of the matcha tiramisu. For this recipe I mixed the matcha with water and sake to dip the ladyfingers in. The best technique is to mix the matcha with a little boiling water to form a paste and then add the rest of the boiling water and sake. This will help to incorporate all the matcha into the liquid.

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Matcha Tiramisu

Sweet Sake and Stone Ground Green Tea give this Tiramisu a Summer twist
Prep Time25 mins
Cooling Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian, Japanese, American
Keyword: cake
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 450kcal

Equipment

  • 8×8 square pan

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup marscapone cheese room temperature
  • 30 ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 cup water boiling
  • 3 tsp matcha divided
  • ½ cup sake sweet and dry

Instructions

  • fill sauce pan with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer.
  • add egg yolks and ¼ cup of sugar to a heat proof bowl that can sit on top of the sauce pan with water. Do not let the bowl touch the water, it should be over the water.
  • whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and triple in size. About 10 min.
  • remove from heat and let cool slightly
  • whip heavy cream and remaining ½ cup sugar until soft peaks form. Do not over beat.
  • whisk marscapone in egg mixture
  • gently fold half of the whipped cream into marscapone mixture then gently fold in the rest. Be careful not to deflate the whipped cream. Place in refrigerator until ready to assemble cake.
  • in a seperate bowl mix 2 tsp matcha with 1 tablesppon of water to make a paste then add remaining cup of water and stir well. mix in sake.
  • dip ladyfingers quickly in matcha and sake and line them in the bottom of the 8×8 pan
  • spread half the marscapone over the ladyfingers and repeat with a second layer of ladyfingers dipped in matcha and sake and the rest of the marscapone.
  • Let chill for 1 hour and then sift remaining teaspoon of matcha on top of tiramisu
  • chill for another 2 or 3 hours until set

Notes

Tiramisu will last for 2 days in the refrigerator

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 229mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1125IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2mg

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Yellow Split Pea Soup

The addition of Tumeric and cumin adds brightness and helps to make this soup packed with flavor and health benefits. The soup is vegetarian and vegan. I like to classify this soup as a power soup because it is high in nutrients like vitamin A, potassium, fiber and protein and low in fat. It tastes great, looks beautiful and is very healthy.

What’s the Big Deal about Tumeric?

Tumeric contains curcumin which has powerful antioxidants. Curcumin boosts brain power, reduces inflammation and can lower your risk of heart disease. Tumeric has been around for over a hundred years but the extreme heath benefits have only recently been studied and recognized. Tumeric is also what gives curry its beautiful yellow color. I love to develop recipes that I can add tumeric to so that the dish not only tastes great but is also healthy for you.

Yellow vs. Green Split Peas

Yellow split peas and green split peas are both delicious. I tend to think that a green split pea soup works best with ham since it is a sweeter split pea and balances well with salty ham.Yellow split peas have an earthier flavor that works well with full flavor spices like turmeric and cumin. This yellow split pea soup is vegetarian and vegan.I puree the soup so that all the flavors blend completely and result is a smooth earthy flavored soup. If the soup is too thick add more vegetable broth to thin it out. The yellow split pea soup is perfect for the spring and summer because of the beautiful color of the soup. It is perfect to serve as a light lunch or dinner with a leafy green salad and some crispy bread. Yellow split pea soup freezes well so you can make a big batch and freeze it in individual portions that you can defrost on those long summer days when you don’t feel like cooking.

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Yellow Split Pea Soup

Tumeric and Cumin give a kick and pump up the health benefits in this super soup
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Soup, lunch
Keyword: Soup, vegetarian, Tumeric, vegan
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 304kcal

Equipment

  • immersion blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 16 oz bag of yellow split peas
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ tsp tumeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • tsp coriander
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley optional

Instructions

  • Add olive oil to large soup pot over medium heat
  • add onions and carrots and saute until soft. Around 5-8 minutes
  • rinse the yellow split peas and add to pot
  • mix in tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, coriander, salt and pepper
  • pour in vegetable broth and water and stir often until boiling. Make sure split peas aren't sticking to bottom of pot.
  • reduce heat and add bay leaf
  • simmer for 1½ hours stirring every 10 min or so until split peas are tender
  • Remove bay leaf
  • blend soup using an immersion blender or food processor.
  • garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired

Notes

Note: If soup is too thick add some more vegetable broth to thin it out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 640mg | Potassium: 861mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3866IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4mg

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

An easy and delicious coffee cake with a sugary glaze

The term Coffee Cake simply means any cake that is intended to be eaten with coffee. This cake can be eaten in the morning or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The ingredients come together very quickly so it is an ideal recipe to make if you do not have a lot of time but would like to bake something homemade. I make this recipe in one big 9 x 13 pan but it would also work in individual muffin tins. Coffee Cakes are typically a moist crumb cake flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Some recipes use sour cream or yogurt but I prefer to use milk. I feel that milk add the right amount of moisture without making the cake too heavy. I also do not feel that you need a lot of butter or oil in the recipe. After many tries I have figured out the exact amount of butter and oil that is necessary to create a light cake that has the right amount of cinnamon and sugar.

The one thing I can promise is that when this Cinnamon Coffee Cake is baking in your oven everyone in your house will say “Oh, that smells so good.” There is something so delicious about the smell of cinnamon and brown sugar baking in the oven. In this recipe I layer the cinnamon and brown sugar in the batter so there is a good ratio of batter to cinnamon sugar. I drizzle a little melted butter over the cake before it bakes in the oven. After the cake comes out of the oven I let it cool for 10 minutes before drizzling the coffee cake with a sugar glaze. The sugar glaze looks so pretty on top and works well with the brown sugar and cinnamon flavors.

This is a perfect Coffee Cake to serve at brunch time or if you are having some friends over for coffee. I really like to serve it warm fresh out of the oven or reheated. To reheat the coffee cake in the oven you will need to wrap it in foil and warm it at 325. You can also use a microwave to warm up the cake. You want the coffee cake to be warm, not hot. The Coffee Cake will stay fresh for 2 days out of the refrigerator or 5 days in the refrigerator. You can even freeze the Coffee Cake for up to a month. Just make sure you store the Coffee Cake in an air tight container.

Some Delicious Variations:

You can add fruit in the middle of the coffee cake as well.

  • Mash a cup of fresh or frozen raspberries with a half of tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • Chop up some walnuts or almonds
  • A cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Add 1/4 tsp of instant coffee to glaze to give it a little coffee flavor

Spoon the added ingredients over the first layer of batter before you sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
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Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, muffins
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 420kcal

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup milk
  • 3 tbsp butter melted

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • tbsp cinnamon

Glaze

  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 tsp milk add more milk if too thick

Instructions

  • preheat oven to 350
  • mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together
  • In a seperate bowl mix eggs, milk, vanilla and ¾ cup oil or melted butter together
  • add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
  • lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and pour half the batter in. Batter will be a little thick so shake pan to spread out evenly.
  • mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and spread half over batter
  • use a spoon to add spoonfuls of batter over the top and gently spread out with wet fingers.
  • top with remaining cinnamon and brown sugar
  • drizzle with 3 tbsp melted butter
  • Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes then remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Do not overbake or it will be dry.
  • let cool for 10 minutes then drizzle with glaze

Notes

Batter will be thick so spreading the second layer may be tricky. You should place spoonfuls of batter over the top and wet your fingers to gently spread the batter so you do not disturb the cinnamon layer.
Coffee cake is best eaten warm. To reheat, wrap lightly in foil and heat in 300 oven for 5 minutes or reheat for 45 seconds in microwave

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg

Caramelized Ramp Chimichurri

Caramelized Ramp Chimichurri

Chefs all over the world rejoice when ramps are in season. The truth is that ramps are in season for a very short period of time and signify the beginning of Spring. Ramp season typically only lasts a month or so from early April until May which is part of the reason why they are such a delicacy.

So What is a Ramp?

A ramp is an entity of its own. Some call them wild leeks. Ramps have a thin stalk that looks a bit like a scallion with one or two flat leaves. The flavor is a cross between an onion and garlic. Ramps have a very distinctive flavor that is not found in any commercially harvested vegetable. Ramps are foraged which makes them rare and adds to their delicacy. They are the first green that emerges from the soil after a long winter. Ramps can also be a little costly due to their scarce supply.

How to Prepare Ramps:

Ramps can be used in wide variety of ways. Once the bulb at the end is cut off the entire ramp can be eaten. They are delicious sautéed in butter and eaten with fried eggs or as a side dish with steak or fish. You can also use them in quiche with a little bacon. I have decided to make a caramelized ramp Chimichurri sauce that works well with fish or can be used as a marinade for skirt steak. Grilled swordfish with avocado is perfect with Caramelized Ramp Chimichurri. Make sure you save a little on the side if you are using the Chimichurri as a marinade so you can serve it as a sauce. I love how vibrant and green this Chimichurri is. It just screams spring to me.

Cleaning Ramps:

Ramps come from the ground and the soil can get caught in them. Run the ramps for several minutes under cold water to remove soil. Then cut off bottom stem and pull back the outer skin and rinse again.

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Caramelized Ramp Chimichurri

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish, Sauces and Dips
Keyword: Sauce, dips, marinade
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 267kcal

Equipment

  • food processor

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ cup parsley leaves
  • 10 ramps washed and cut in thirds

Instructions

  • Cut the bottom off of each ramp and wash well in cool water. Cut into thirds.
  • saute ramps in 2 tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Let cool
  • add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor and pulse a few times
  • while mixer in running slowly add olive oil and blend well
  • Use as a marinade or serve as a sauce with grilled fish or meat

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1307IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

Short Rib Ragu Fettuccini

Short Rib Ragu Fettuccini

Topped with warm creamy burrata

Similar to a bolognese but instead of using ground meat we use bone-in short ribs that are roasted until the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone. This sauce starts on the stove and finishes roasting in the oven. Low and slow is the key here. The result is a rich savory meat sauce that goes perfectly with a flat long pasta like fettuccini or pappardelle. You need to use a flat noodle so the sauce has something to cling to. The sauce combines flavors of sweet and savory with a touch of spicy. I like to top the pasta with an individual sized ball of burrata weighing 2 ounces.

Tip on serving the best mozzarella:

Put the mozzarella in the microwave for one minute to warm it up before you place it on the pasta. When I owned my restaurant I was told by our mozzarella company to always serve fresh mozzarella slightly warm. When fresh mozzarella is made it comes out of the water warm and is shaped into a ball. There is nothing like truly fresh mozzarella that has never been refrigerated. The flavor is so smooth and mild. When fresh mozzarella is cold it does not have the same flavor, it is masked by the cold temperature. When you serve any fresh mozzarella or burrata you should place it in a pot of warm water or in the microwave for 30 seconds to take the chill away. You will see how much creamier and tasty the mozzarella is.

Making Short Rib Ragu:

A good ragu should have layers of flavor that can only be accomplished with a slow cooking process. In this recipe I combine red wine, brown sugar, mustard, tomatoes and red chili flakes with other herbs, carrots, onions and beef broth. All the flavors marry together and create a wonderful spicy- sweet short rib ragu. The short ribs are seared in a touch of olive oil on the stove top before being added to the sauce and placed in the oven for two hours. The sauce is done when the short rib meat is falling off the bone and ready to be shredded. The sauce will not take more than 15 minutes to prepare before going into the oven and once in the oven there is nothing you have to do for the next two hours. Just let the sauce stew together and work its magic.

Short Rib Ragu Ready To Be Covered And Placed Into The Oven

What should I do if the Sauce is dry after roasting?

After two hours take the short rib ragu out of the oven. Remove the short ribs from the sauce and shred the meat from the bone. You should try to cut the fat off and discard it with the bones. Return the shredded meat to the sauce. If the sauce seems too dry add additional beef broth to the short rib ragu. One cup of beef broth should be sufficient. This is a ragu so it is a thicker meat sauce that should cling to the pasta.

This sauce can be made up to two days in advance and reheated when ready to serve. Add more beef broth if you need more liquid.

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Short Rib Ragu with Fettuccini and Warm Burrata

Slow roasted short ribs create a hearty sauce for pasta
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
resting time15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course, pasta, lunch, dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta Sauce, pasta, meat
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 621kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lb bone in short ribs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth plus extra cup if sauce gets too dry
  • 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves no stems
  • 2 bay leaves dry
  • ¼ tsp red chili flakes more if you like spicy
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 5 leaves basil chiffonade
  • grated parmesan for serving
  • 8 oz burrata (4) 2oz balls

Instructions

  • preheat oven to 325
  • heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or deep oven proof pan
  • brown short ribs on all sides and then remove from pan and place on side
  • add onions and carrots to pan and saute until onions are translucent
  • add garlic and saute for 2 minutes until garlic is sizzling
  • pour in red wine and simmer for 5 minutes until wine is reduced by half
  • stir in tomato paste and brown sugar
  • add crushed tomatoes and beef broth and stir well
  • add mustard, thyme, chili flakes, salt, pepper and bay leaves
  • put short ribs back in pan, meaty side down, so they are submerged in the liquid
  • cover pan with lid or aluminum foil and place in oven for 2 hours
  • remove pan from oven
  • remove short ribs from sauce, remove meat from bones and trim fat
  • discard fat and bones
  • shred meat and place back into sauce
  • let sauce sit for 15 minutes so you can skim fat off the top
  • prepare pasta according to directions
  • gently warm sauce and add more beef broth if necessary
  • mix pasta into sauce
  • warm burrata for one minute in microwave or warm water for 2 minutes and place on top of pasta
  • grate parmesan on pasta and sprinkle basil

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 1048mg | Potassium: 1454mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 6336IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 7mg

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasting the garlic cloves creates a nutty mild garlic flavor that balances well with the tahini.

Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread that is made with cooked chickpeas. The chickpeas are boiled until very soft and their skin is beginning to come off. This makes it easy to mash them into a very smooth dip that blends perfectly with the silky tahini. Tahini is made from sesame seeds. I like to use the Soom Premium Tahini available here on Amazon. This tahini is all natural, delicious and made by a woman owned company.

Homemade hummus can be used in a variety of ways. You can serve it as an hors d’oeuvres with pita or flat bread and raw vegetables or as a side dish with charred broccoli and peppers. Simply toss the broccoli and peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes in a 400 oven then serve over the hummus as a side dish or appetizer. The hummus will stay fresh for 5 days in your refrigerator and is a healthy snack to have around. If you feel a little hungry try dipping some pretzel crisps into the hummus as a mid afternoon snack

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Roasted Garlic Hummus

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack, Sauces and Dips
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Sauce, vegetarian, Side Dishes, dips, snacks
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 42kcal

Equipment

  • food processor or immersion blender

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 clove garlic
  • ¾ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 tbsp ice cold water
  • tsp Extra virgin olive oil plus extra to drizzle on top if desired
  • sumac to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  • preheat oven to 400
  • peel garlic and toss with ½ teaspoon olive oil. Wrap in foil and roast in oven for 30-45 minutes until light brown and soft
  • drain and rinse chickpeas and add them to a sauce pan with baking soda.
  • fill pan with water until chickpeas are just covered
  • bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until chickpeas are soft
  • drain in mesh strainer and rinse with cold water
  • mash roasted garlic with the back of a fork and add to food processor
  • add lemon juice, tahini, salt, pepper and ice water and blend until smooth
  • add chickpeas and cumin and remaining teaspoon of olive oil
  • blend until very smooth scraping sides as necessary.
  • If too thick then add another tablespoon of water
  • place in a bowl and drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sumac

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 287mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg