Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter 2011 cooking classes are up!

Check out our new schedule of Prep School cooking classes, finally! You can sign up online via PayPal; just be sure to leave us your email address. New this semester is the Wednesday Nooner—a weekly lunch class, including a full meal and all instruction. Stay tuned for details, and happy cooking!

(We haven't forgotten the kids—Small Bites classes are available, too. Look at the schedule on our site or give us a call at (203) 454-3663, and we'll find a spot for your child.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giant sweet potatoes

From the files of "extremely artful shots of raw ingredients that no one thinks are cool but Cynthia" comes this image of ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS sweet potatoes, courtesy of Urban Oaks Organic Farm. Possibly you can't tell from the photo, but trust us, they're ridiculous. Basically the size of a regulation NFL football. Try tossing that around the yard. It may take quite a while to get these peeled, but once we do, expect many tasty results. For now, however, why not save yourself a few headaches and order some thanksgiving dishes from Sugar & Olives? We've got you covered—everything but the turkey.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good times in the New York Times

Sugar & Olives was just featured in the Sunday New York Times about the many tasty ways to use fresh, local pumpkins. We think it wouldn't have been the same without our snickerdoodle pumpkin ice cream sandwiches. Plus if you have the hard copy, check out the picture of Jennifer working the kitchen...

Rosemary flatbread

It's a flatbread, it's a cracker, it's a dipping accessory... it's amazing, and you'll never buy crackers again. Fresh rosemary really makes it, and if you also buy yourself a pizza stone, you won't regret it...


3 cups semolina flour

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 T kosher salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 T fresh rosemary, chopped

1 2/3 cup water

• • •

Preheat your oven to 450°F, and use a pizza stone if you have one.

Find yourself a very large bowl (but don't spend too much time looking). Add the flours and salt and rosemary to it, and whisk to combine. Make a well in the center, and pour in the water and the oil. UsIng a fork, pull the dry ingredients into the wet ones, working from the outside and rotating the bowl. When the fork has done enough, use your hands to bring the dough together. Squeeze together to form a ball, do not work up a sweat and do not overwork it! Gather the dough up into a ball and wrap well in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for at least one hour (and for up to one week).

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge, and working with one small piece at a time (the size of an egg) roll out very thin. Start with the dough in an egg shape and then flatten it out—roll out so it’s long, narrow, and uneven. It should be paper thin. Transfer the dough to the pre-heated stone in the hot oven (or slide it onto an upside-down sheet pan if you don't have a pizza stone.) Bake for 8–10 minutes, until light brown and crispy. Remove from oven and brush on olive oil and salt.

These can sit on your counter partially wrapped for up to one week. Makes about 20 large flatbreads.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Check out the new schedule of kids cooking classes

Our new Fall 2010 lineup of small bites cooking classes for kids is available on the website, including a new "mixed bag" baking class for all ages, on Tuesdays. Take a look to see the details or to sign up!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sign up for the CT Bites Lunch Event!

We're hosting a CT Bites lunch event on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010. The menu features pumpkin + lobster bisque with candied pumpkin seeds, pumpkin risotto cakes, grass-fed beef sliders, lots of farm veggies, and even a pumpkin pop-tart for dessert. We'll also be making pumpkin martinis for those that like a little liquor with their lunch, $8 each. You can't beat this deal—$20 prix fixe. Two seatings at 12pm and 1pm. Call us to make a reservation, 203 454 3663.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lavish Latkes

Why settle for anything less than a high class latke? We've all struggled with the boring and the simple, the grating and the applesauce. It's almost like we make them just to please our mother-in-laws. One year, I almost bought a dozen hash browns from a popular fast food establishment and called it a day. I've decided that the latkes we know need a makeover, and here it is. Four glorious recipes, and oh how divine they are. To top it all off, these kids need a chutney, not a sauce. And we're also serving them with creme fraiche, nix the sour cream.

Remember the two rules for perfect latkes:

Make sure the oil is heated up to 350F
Grated potatoes should be very very dry, and NOT moist (ring them out in a kitchen towel before using)

Gwyneth Paltrow's Latkes
Made with shallots and rosemary; classy & elegant with a big attitute.

(I think if she were going to make them, this would be her recipe

1 pound of yukon gold's, peeled and grated
1 large shallot, grated
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
1 egg
1 teaspoon of white whole wheat flour
kosher salt and pepper to taste
peanut oil to fry (canola oil can be substituted)

Pour about one cup of peanut oil into a medium pan. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and use a thermometer to check the temperature.

Work with the potatoes last. Grate the shallot, and put into a medium bowl. Add the egg, flour and salt and pepper. Now, peel and grate the potatoes. If possible use them right away, and add them to the bowl. (If you need to peel and grate the potatoes ahead of time, place them in a bowl of cold water to keep them fresh - and roll them in a towel after grating to remove the moisture. Now, mix it all up.
Drop a teaspoon at a time into the hot oil and flatten slightly with a spatula. Flip over when they start to brown, after about 3-4 minutes.

Apple Cider Chutney
adapted from Bon Apetit, November 1996

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 large garlic cloves
2 ounces fresh ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

Boil up the vinegar and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce temperature and simmer for 10 more minutes, then remove from heat.

Combine apples and lemon juice in small bowl and set aside. Combine garlic, ginger, salt and red pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the apples, the garlic mixture, raisins and mustard seeds to the vinegar. Simmer until apples are tender and chutney thickens, stirring occasionally, approx. 45 minutes. Cool, cover and chill. This recipes can be made up to one week ahead of time, and stored in the refrigerator.

Modern Latkes, AKA Chremslech
These babies are light and fluffy, a nice alternative from the classic latke.

2 cups idaho potatos, peeled and cubed
2 yukon golds, peeled and grated
1 large shallot, grated
2 eggs
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
peanut oil for frying (canola oil can be substituted)

Boil up the idaho potatoes in a pot with some salt. Cook for about 15 minutes. Drain them and mash, set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the shredded yukons and mashed idaho's with the onions, eggs, flour and salt. Mix well. You should have a nice dough, not too sticky, add a bit more flour to remedy if needed. Heat up the oil in a large skillet, and test to make sure it's 350F. When ready, drop by heaping tablespoon into oil, and flatten with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes on both sides. Serve with creme fraiche and smoked salmon, and garnish with fresh dill.

These next two recipes are compliments of Nicky Zion, a very talented chef and food conversationalist.

Apple Latkes

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk or orange juice
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
1/2 cup of sugar if using milk, 1/4 cup if using juice
3 medium sized apples, peeled and grated
canola oil for frying
confectioners sugar for dusting, optional

Mix eggs with juice or milk in bowl. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add dry ingredients to eggmixture along with the apples. Heat thin layer of oil in saute pan. Drop batter by tablespoon and cook about 2 minutes per side or until lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
canola oil for frying

Grate sweet potatoes coarsely. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and all spices. Add the eggs and the milk to the dry ingredients to make a batter. Add sweet potatoes and mix well. Heat oil in saute pan. Drop batter by tablespoon and flatten. Cook several minutes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve.