Author Archives: Maite Gomez-Rejón

Recipe of the Week

Chickpea Flatbread with Olives

Chickpea Flatbread with Olives

In his 1474 Renaissance cookbook, On Right Pleasure and Good Health, Platina describes the variety of olives and their different culinary applications. On olives – there are several kinds of olives: the preserving kind, the long olive, the oblong olive, which is best preserved of all olives, as Varro says, the Salentine, and the Spanish. They are eaten with fish and roasted meats so as either to dispel squeamishness or induce appetite.

On the chick-pea: The chick-pea is salty, and therefore it burns the soil and ought not to be sown unless it has been soaked the day before.

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped green olives
3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Set an oven rack 6-inches below your oven’s broiler.

In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the water, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Whisk in olive oil. Let sit for 30 minutes.

When the batter is finished resting, place a large skillet in the top rack of the oven for about 5 minutes.

Remove the skillets from the oven using oven mitts. Add 1 teaspoon or so of olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Pour in the batter, making sure it coats the entire surface of the pan.

Top with the olives, rosemary and cheese and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, the edges should begin to brown.

Cut into thin slices and serve drizzled with olive oil.

Serves 6

Hazelnut Cake

Hazelnut Cake

Platina, in his 1474 Renaissance cookbook, On Right Pleasure and Good Health, writes on sugar – Sugar comes not only from Arabia and India but also from Crete and Sicily. Pliny calls it the honey collected from cane. The whiter it is, the better. It is good for the stomach and soothes whatever discomforts there are. By melting it, we make hazelnuts and many other things into sweets.

¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup ground hazelnuts
1 stick butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk, at room temperature

Butter and flour an 8×2 ½-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and ground hazelnuts together until well combined. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, fully incorporating each into the mixture and stopping to scrape down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.

Slowly add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a spatula.

Bake for about 28 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake rest for about 10 minutes before unmolding. Remove the parchment and cool completely. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with fresh blackberries or raspberries.

Serves 8 to 10

Mincemeat Pie

mincemeat pie

Mincemeat Pie

To end the year on a sweet note, this recipe was made in my last class of 2017, A Dickens Christmas at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Arts.

A sweet pie of British origin, mincemeat consists of of mixed dried fruits and spices traditionally served during the Christmas season. Its ingredients can be traced to the 13th century, when returning crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices. In Georgian times the meat was dropped. Mincemeat pie was loved by Charles Dickens.

Mincemeat filling:
2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 cup apple cider
⅔ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried currants
½ cup dried figs, chopped
zest of one orange
½ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup raisins
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon round nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup rum

Simmer apples, apple cider, brown sugar, apricots, dried cherries, cranberries, currants, figs, orange zest, orange juice, golden raisins, raisins, schmaltz, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and rum in a medium pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid is evaporated, 30–25 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover, and chill to let flavors develop. (Filling can be made 3 months ahead; freeze in an airtight container.)

Use as a filling in your favorite pie crust or make individual tartlets like the ones shown above!

Makes enough for 2 9-inch pies
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Roast Pork with Whole Grain Mustard

pork with mustard

Roast Pork with Whole Grain Mustard

This recipe is a modernized version of Hannah Glasse’s recipe for Roast Pork Loin in her cookbook, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, published in England in 1747.

“To dress a Loin of Pork with onions Take a Fore-Loin of Pork and roast it, as at another time, peel a Quarter of a Peck of Onions, and slice them thin, lay them in the Dripping pan, which must be very clean, under the Pork, let the Fat drop on them; when the Pork is nigh enough, put the Onions into the sauce-pan, let them simmer over the Fire a Quarter of an Hour, shaking them well, then pour out all the Fat as well as you can, shake in a very little Flour, a Spoonful of Vinegar, and three Tea Spoonfuls of Mustard, shake all well together and stir in the Mustard, set it over the Fire for four five Minutes, lay the Pork in a Dish and the Onions in a Bason. This is an admirable Dish to those who love Onions.”

1 ½ pound pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Pat pork dry, season with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides, about 6 minutes total, then transfer to a plate.

Sauté thinly sliced onion and garlic in the same skillet until the onion starts to caramelize. Add wine, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then stir in broth and mustard. Place pork over the onions and transfer skillet to oven.

Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145° to 150° F, about 20 minutes.

Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Transfer the skillet to stovetop and bring to a boil and stir in the vinegar and dill.

Thinly slice the pork and pour the onions and mustard sauce over it.

Serves 6