When I was a young, beginning cook (several decades ago!) one of my first kitchen triumphs was learning how to make a Sachertorte—a celebrated Viennese chocolate torte with an apricot filling, coated with a rich chocolate glaze. Recently the memory of this cake served as inspiration for a new recipe. If the pairing of chocolate and apricot was so successful in a cake, why not try it in a tart, I reasoned! It took several tries and quite a few hours in the kitchen to work out the details, but eventually I pulled a glorious shinny dark chocolate and apricot tart from the oven.
The crust, made with butter and cream and no water, is rich and bakes to a light golden brown. It will take a little extra time as the pastry crust gets baked first with foil and beans, and again without the beans, and once more with a thin layer of apricot preserves spread over the bottom of the tart. Once the crust is pre-baked more apricot preserves are Continue reading
My son, a consummate griller, has mentioned more than once a recipe he loves for grilled chicken wings flavored with apricot and lime. “Mom,” he has pleaded, “You’ve got to try this marinade. It’s sweet, tart, hot, and spicy all at the same time!” So when it finally got warm enough this spring to pull out our grill, I asked for the recipe. I tried it with chicken wings, and they were delicious, but, being a curious cook, I kept thinking of other ways to use the delectable marinade.
On a whim, I substituted salmon fillets for the chicken, and was thrilled with the results. The salmon needed far less time to marinate than the wings, and cooked more quickly as well. Best of all, though, the flavors melded beautifully with the fish. Apricot jam adds a sweet note, while lime juice and zest provide tartness. Ginger, garlic, and a hit of sriracha contribute heat, and soy sauce, a salty accent. Continue reading
Okay, if you’re like me, appetizers are the last thing on your mind when planning a Thanksgiving menu. After all, there’s the big bird in the oven, the dressing to tend to, plus all those sides and desserts.
But those little nibbles we offer with glasses of wine do set the tone for the parade of dishes to come. My golden rule: appetizers served on Turkey Day should be simple to make, tasty, and not too filling. Apricot, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Toasts deliver with panache. Continue reading