Turnip Potato Gnocchi with Browned Butter and Sage

Recipe Jump Button


Why I Love It

Why I love it: This meal is easy, cheap, delicious and a great way to use up all the turnips that might be piling up in your vegetable garden.


Turnip Potato Gnocchi with Browned Butter and SageBuy 703

Turnip and potato are a wonderful combination. Usually I roast the two together and eat them with a goat cheese salad but I had already done that a bunch this turnip season and was looking for something new. And this dish is it. It’s a straight-forward potato gnocchi recipe but with pureed turnip mixed in. The strong flavor elevates the gnocchi from slightly bland to absolutely delicious and with a bit of browned butter and some chopped sage you have yourself an easy, cheap and yummy meal.

One thing you have to watch out for here is the moisture in the turnips, you don’t want that to clump up your dough so here’s what you can do: put the turnips into your potato ricer one by one after they’re cooked and peeled and just squeeze them enough to get rid of the water, it works surprisingly well. After that you can blend them up in your food processor and mix them into your dough. Enjoy!

Turnip Potato Gnocchi with Browned Butter and Sage
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 1 pound turnips
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of fresh black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 sage leaves, chopped
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Poke a few holes into the potatoes with a fork, then place potatoes and turnips on a baking sheet and roast until a knife goes through easily, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  3. Peel the potatoes and put them through a ricer into a bowl.
  4. Peel the turnips and put them in the ricer but don't try to push them through, just squeeze them enough to get the water out of them.
  5. Puree the turnips in a food processor, then mix in with the riced potatoes.
  6. Add egg, flour, salt and pepper to the bowl and distribute the ingredients evenly by stirring them around with a fork.
  7. Carefully knead the ingredients just enough to let them come together into a ball.
  8. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
  9. Roll each piece into a ½-inch-thick rope.
  10. Cut the rope into 1-inch-long gnocchi. (If you like, lightly press and roll each gnocchi down the backside of a fork to create ridges).
  11. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  12. Add half of the gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface (1 - 2 minutes).
  13. Spoon the gnocchi out and cook the remaining half in the same fashion.
  14. Melt the butter in a skillet and cook until it starts to brown.
  15. Add the sage and cook for a minute.
  16. Drizzle the butter over the gnocchi and serve.

Food Photography and Styling: Isn’t that spoon great? I got it a while ago from an antique store, it apparently used to be a mining spoon but I think it looks great as a sauce spoon in a food photo. It’s got a super-long handle (like 8 inches), which means that I can grab it easily and firmly without any worry that my finger tips will be in the frame…wonderful! The surface in this photo is the new metal trunk that I used for the chocolate tart in the last post and I think it almost looks like fabric in this photo. You think so too? Either way I like the look a lot.
 
As for the food styling I intentionally didn’t skim the foam off the butter to keep the liquid in the bowl of the spoon from looking just uniformly dark. Other than that I made sure to distribute the sage bits more or less evenly over all the gnocchi and arranged them in a nice, circular pattern that keeps the viewer’s eye circulating around in the frame.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on Facebook

Chinese Five-Spice Powder Chocolate Cream Cheese Tart

Recipe Jump Button


Why I Love It

Why I love it: This tart is easy to make, tastes delicious and has a flavor profile that is new and unusual (in a good way). It’s a mix of a chocolate tart and a cheesecake but with a whole extra layer of flavors added by the Chinese five-spice powder.


Chinese Five-Spice Powder Chocolate Cream Cheese TartBuy 703

I had the idea for this tart after I made my Chinese five-spice chocolate truffles with crystallized ginger a little while ago. Five-spice powder is a blend of white pepper, fennel, star anise, cinnamon and clove and it’s an unusual ingredient for chocolate but works great with it. I initially wanted to make it a mousse tart but then I thought a bit of tang would go well with the flavor combination so I added cream cheese, which gave it a more cheesecake-like texture (but it’s definitely more a chocolate tart than a cheesecake). Overall the tart has a delicious and very multi-faceted flavor profile that I really like. It’s easy and straightforward to make with a simple chocolate–espresso tart crust that’s briefly pre-baked and then filled with a chocolate/cream cheese/sugar/egg and spice mix. Bon appetit! 

Chinese Five-Spice Powder Chocolate Cream Cheese Tart
 
This recipe is for a 9" round pie pan or a 14" by 4½" by 1" tart pan.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the crust:
  • ½ tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2½ tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
For the filling:
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 9 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 2 eggs
Instructions:
For the crust:
  1. Mix the vinegar and the milk. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, sugar and salt, then cut in the shortening and the butter with a pastry cutter.
  3. Pour the milk/vinegar into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a ball.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, then fit into the greased pan.
  7. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
For the filling:
  1. While the crust pre-bakes, shave a few chocolate curls (about 0.5 ounces) off of one of the bittersweet chocolate bars with a vegetable peeler. Set aside as garnish.
  2. Finely chop the rest of the bittersweet chocolate and melt in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Set aside.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and Chinese 5-spice powder in a bowl until smooth.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the chocolate.
  5. Spoon the filling into the crust, fill it all the way up to the rim and smooth out with an offset spatula. Be sure to let the filling touch the crust all around.
  6. Bake the tart until the filling rises up about half an inch above the rim, about 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. Chill in the fridge and sprinkle with chocolate curls before serving.

Food Photography and Styling: This surface is my newest prop, it’s an old metal trunk (I suppose it could have been a toolbox in its day) and I knew it was a winner as soon as I spotted it in an antique store last week. It has just the right texture, marbling and color to lend interest to a food photo and is at the same time subtle enough to not steal any attention away from the food. I’m sure you’re going to see a lot of it here in coming posts. The chocolate color of this tart worked perfectly with the surface and I shot it from overhead because that is in my opinion the best perspective for things with oblong shapes like this tart pan.

You can probably tell that I followed the rule of thirds very strictly with the center of the pan sitting on the left vertical line that divides the frame into thirds and the edge of the fabric running along the right dividing line. To make the composition look a little less rigid I sprinkled chocolate curls not only on the tart but also on the surface.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on Facebook

Cinnamon Bourbon Honey Cayenne Roasted Plum Tart

Recipe Jump Button


Why I Love It

Why I love it: The plums in this tart are macerated in a mix of cinnamon, Bourbon, honey and a hint of cayenne pepper and then roasted in the oven, all of which makes them extra delicious. Despite the multitude of flavors this tart is actually simple and very easy to make and because the tart shell and the filling are prepared completely separately, the danger of a soggy crust is reduced to a minimum.


Cinnamon Bourbon Honey Cayenne Roasted Plum TartBuy 703

I love fruit tarts but have always struggled with soggy crusts. As the fruit cooks it releases its juices and they have nowhere else to go but into the tart shell they are sitting in. Well, I’m happy to say that that’s not a problem here because for this tart I prepared the crust and the filling completely separately.

Here’s how it goes: you whip up a sweet tart dough and bake it. Meanwhile you cook up a macerating liquid for the fruit with Bourbon, honey, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper and then soak the sliced plums in it. All those flavors work very well together, the cayenne pepper adds just a bit of sharpness that enhances the cinnamon. Once the plums have soaked up all the deliciousness you roast them in the oven until they are soft and cooked. Then you lay them into the fully baked baked shell and voila, your tart is ready to serve!

Cinnamon Bourbon Honey Cayenne Roasted Plum Tart
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons ice water (more if needed)
For the filling:
  • ½ cup Bourbon
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 9 ripe plums
  • whipped cream to serve
Instructions:
For the crust:
  1. Whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Add the shortening and the butter and cut them in with a pastry cutter until you have the consistency of a meal.
  3. Sprinkle the water over the fat/flour/sugar mix and bring the dough together with your hands. (If the dough doesn't come together, add a little more water, 1 teaspoon at a time).
  4. Form the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Roll out the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap and then fit into an 9-inch greased tart pan.
  6. Put back in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Line the dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove the weights and the foil and bake until golden-brown (about another 20 minutes), then take out and let cool but leave the oven running at 350 degrees F. While the crust bakes, make the filling.
For the filling:
  1. Add Bourbon to a saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. Let cool.
  2. Stir in honey, cinnamon and cayenne. Set aside.
  3. Slice the plums into wedges and add to a large bowl.
  4. Pour the Bourbon glaze into the bowl and toss the plums in it until they are well coated. Let the plums macerate in the liquid for 20 minutes.
  5. Spread the plum slices out on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Don't throw away the macerating liquid.
  6. Lay the slices into the tart shell in circles, then brush some of the remaining cinnamon liquid onto the plums.
  7. Serve with whipped cream.

Food Photography and Styling: To show the nice spiral pattern that the plum slices formed I shot this tart from an overhead perspective. I started the shoot by setting the tart pan directly on the wood and then tried various items underneath it (fabrics and paper of various colors). The white paper looked best to me because of the way it made the black, scalloped rim of the pan stand out, it gave the tart a really pretty outline. As far as equipment goes I used my strobe (as always) but instead of my 105mm lens I actually used my 60mm macro lens here. I generally only use the 60mm on restaurant shoots (because space can be very limited in a restaurant) but I was in the middle of reorganizing my studio last week and just didn’t have a high enough ladder on hand.

For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on Facebook

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel

Recipe Jump Button


Why I Love It

Why I love it: This delicious cheesecake is easy, requires few ingredients and tastes spectacular. The goat cheese and the rosemary add new and interesting flavors that transform the classic into something special.


Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel RecipeForestRosemary-Caramel-Sauce-RecipeGoat-Cheese-Cheescake-with-Rosemary-Caramel-Sauce-RecipeNatureBuy 703
Hi there! How’s your summer going? I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I do, it’s been great over here in the Rockies. The weather is wonderful and we’ve already been doing lots of great hiking and a bit of camping. I should say “glamping” because we have a small camper with such delightful features as a bed, running water, a stovetop and a fridge. It’s awesome, I love that little thing. Hot tea in the morning and cold wine in the evening, that’s my kind of camping. The fridge is nice and spacey so it’s no problem to bring cheesecake(s) either and what you see here is my new favorite camping dessert: goat cheese cheesecake drizzled with rosemary caramel sauce.
 
From what I can tell rosemary caramel sauce seems to be a common accompaniment to cheesecake but I had never made it until last week, which is a shame because it tastes fantastic. You make it simply by infusing the cream you use for your caramel sauce with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
 
The goat cheese cheesecake recipe comes from Whole Foods. I saw it and knew immediately that I had to try it, I mean what a great idea! The result was wonderful, the goat cheese adds its signature tangy flavor to the cake and turns it into something half savory. The cake is not very sweet at all, the sweetness in this dessert comes mostly from the caramel sauce.
 
As you can see I made individual small cakes with tart molds here but you can also make one large cheesecake. Either way it’s a great dessert for just about any occasion and also perfect for bringing to a picnic in the forest and eating on a bench under a nice, shady tree.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel
 
This recipe is for one 9-inch springform pan or 8 individual 4-inch tart molds with removable bottoms. Fill the pan or molds ¾ full.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1⅓ cup crushed graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 12 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 long sprig of fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Instructions:
For the graham cracker crust and the cheesecake:
  1. Head on over to Whole Foods for instructions. Small individual tarts take much less time to bake than a 9-inch cake, start to check them after 10 minutes.
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
  1. Add the cream and the rosemary sprig to a saucepan.
  2. Heat the cream until it starts to simmer, then turn the heat off, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the rosemary sprig and transfer the cream to a container you can pour from. Set aside.
  4. Clean the saucepan well, then add the water to it.
  5. Add the sugar in a mound into the middle of the saucepan. Be careful not to have any sugar on the sides of the pan.
  6. Turn the heat on to high and without any stirring or touching of any sort, let the sugar/water mix come to a full boil. Be careful, the mix will get very, very hot. Do not touch the pot or the caramel under any circumstances.
  7. Keep boiling the mix on high heat (still without any stirring) until it starts to turn golden brown.
  8. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to boil until the mix reaches a deep amber color.
  9. Turn the heat off.
  10. Standing back, very slowly whisk the cream into the mix, a little bit at a time. The sauce will bubble violently and is still very hot, so be careful.
  11. Let the sauce cool until you can handle it easily and fill into a glass container. If it's too thick by the time you want to use it, gently warm it up over a pot of hot water or in the microwave.
Notes:
Recipe adapted from: Whole Foods Market

Food Photography and Styling: Photographing whole, large cheesecakes is really a trick and trying to cut a perfect piece out of a whole cheesecake is even more difficult so to make it easier on myself I resorted to a small, individual cake. Drips are always beautiful in my opinion so I made sure to have some caramel sauce run over the sides of the cake (and to imply that I had just poured the sauce I let a drip run down the saucepan in the background as well). That was a bit of a trick too because the sauce had to have just the right temperature to be runny enough to form drips but not too runny to run away, so to speak. Since you can’t see the rosemary in the sauce I put a sprig of it on top of the cake and sprinkled some in the background as well.

For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel
Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on Facebook