Smoked Cherry-Grape Tomatoes

Delicately dehydrated (aka sun-dried) tomatoes are extremely popular as a vegetarian snack, appetizer, or a dish element for many reasons. First of all, they add a concentrated flavor of fully ripe tomato to the dishes. They are sweet and tangy, light in calories and with an intense aroma. Now, imagine adding some campfire-like tasting notes to sun-dried tomatoes! It takes 10 minutes using Cameron’s stovetop smoker. Keep smoked tomatoes refrigerated in a jar and serve them on grilled bread rubbed with garlic, or on top of pasta and rice dishes, or add them to your favorite sauces and salsas. Enjoy the summer!

June 17, 2019
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Erroneous Terrine

My first mistake was to buy these tomatoes. I keep assuming everything on Farmers Market should taste good. They looked so beautiful, but the taste had nothing to do with their looks — watery and diluted. The only way to make them more or less enjoyable was to concentrate their flavor by partial dehydration, by making something similar to sun-dried tomatoes. Then I’ve made another mistake — left them in the oven for too long, and they turned into completely dry chips. Using plain Noosa yogurt to reconstitute some of their moisture became a brilliant idea! Alternated layers of dry tomatoes and yogurt created an equilibrium of texture and flavors the next day. It could’ve been mistaken for salami with unusually layered “meat” and “fat”… Or could it?

July 5, 2016
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Kvass Bread

Dry and crumbled kvass bread is considered a dry kvass starter. The next step is to extract its flavor with hot water. If this water extract is cooked down to a syrupy consistency, it becomes kvass suslo or liquid kvass starter. Both dry and liquid kvass starters provide more complex flavor foundation for the kvass in comparison with regular bread recipe.

May 10, 2016
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Preserving Ramps: Dry

Allium tricoccum — commonly known as ramp, ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, wood leek, and wild garlic — is a North American species of wild onion widespread across eastern Canada and the eastern United States. It is similar to better known in Texas chives, but with more delicate and intriguing flavor profile. I often use ramps as a flavoring ingredient for my tasting events and catering. French omelets with ramps are admired and remembered by everybody who tasted them. Green ramps paste adorns fresh pasta, risotto, soups, beans — they become unforgettable. Ramps compound butter is another hit, as well as pickled ramps served with roasted or grilled meats and poultry.

April 12, 2016
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Ode to Texas Peaches: Peach & Pecan Churchkhella

The idea of Cowboy Peach & Pecan Leather comes from my childhood delicacy. It’s a natural fruit-n-nut snack popular in Georgia (ჩურჩხელა — Churchkhella). The main idea is to use what is locally plentiful and in season. In Central Texas, they are pecans and peaches. Unlike grape juice, 1 gallon of peach puree needs only 4 tablespoon of corn starch and 2-3 minutes of boiling to become thick enough for dipping.

March 19, 2016
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Black Friday Salads: Greens, Pears, and Crispy Cured Meat

My daughter found this recipe years ago and it became one of the favorite salads in our family. She always makes it following the original to the letter. I like variations. Three ingredients (I do not add cheese) — greens (with arugula or arugula only), fresh fruit slices (apple or pear), and crispy cured pork (panchetta, coppa, capocollo, proscuitto, bacon) — plus classic French salad dressing make a quick, delicious, beautiful, and light meal. I featured this salad last Wednesday on French Crepes Party for my neighbors. Judging by speed it was finished, everybody loved it. This salad is perfect for after-Thanksgiving light meal.

November 27, 2015
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No-Guilt Desserts | Pavlova

This is the easiest, lightest, and the most impressive dessert to make and eat with no guilt! Because it’s made of bubbles and bubbles and bubbles…

Bubbles!
Billions and billions of bubbles!
When life is bubbable
The whole world is loveable
Endurable and beauriful
With bubbles

August 16, 2015
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Gluten-Free and Egg-Free Pie Crust

15 minutes one evening, 20 minutes next morning, 30 minutes in the evening, and you serve a light dinner at the end of your busy day in the office. With a glass of nice red wine. Perfect. This gluten-free and egg-free crust is perfect for many diets. The ingredients are dehydrated butternut squash, pecans, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Now, what if we use other dehydrated vegetables?…

March 4, 2015
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