Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookies

Thick, soft and chewy cookies made with organic peanut butter, pastured eggs, sea salt, freshly-ground sweet cinnamon, and much less sugar..

Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookies (makes about 2 dozen cookies, recipe adapted from Saveur Magazine)

2 cups organic peanut butter without added oil or sugar, creamy or chunky
1 cup granulated piloncillo or rapadura sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 large, pastured eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon organic, pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground Sweet Cinnamon (True Cinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon)

Cream together peanut butter and 1 cup of the sugar in a large glass bowl.  Using a hand mixer at low speed, beat in eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until just combined.  Mixture should be slightly grainy.

Using a small cookie scoop (or your hands), form mixture into 2-inch balls and place 4 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Use the tines of a fork to flatten slightly, pressing a cross-hatch pattern into each cookie.  Sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Place the tray into an oven preheated to 350 degrees and baked until puffed and lightly browned on the edges.  Allow to to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before removing from tray.

Kept at room temperature, the cookies will remain soft for a day or two, assuming they last that long.

Oyster and Andouille Gumbo

While “there are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks”, one of my favorite preparations includes freshly-shucked gulf oysters and hand-made andouille sausage from LaPlace, Louisiana along with the usual suspects of chocolate-brown roux cooked down with onions, garlic, green pepper and celery.  There’s some fresh okra and tomato in there, with plenty of cayenne, fresh thyme and oregano as well.

I like to use sprouted brown rice instead of the traditional white rice, adding in the salty-sea liquor from the oysters in place of some of the water..

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Andouille, Crab and Oyster Gumbo

Chocolate-colored roux, the Cajun/Creole “holy trinity” of red bell pepper, celery and roux, homemade shrimp stock, pecan wood-smoked Andouille, fresh crab and oysters..

For the Gumbo  (from a recipe by Andrew Zimmern, with slight modifications)

1/2 cup organic, all-purpose flour
4 ounces pastured butter
1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 fresh bay leaf
5 cups homemade shrimp stock (substitute chicken stock)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 pound fresh okra, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 cups bottled clam juice
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
2 dozen shucked oysters and their liquor
3 tablespoons organic Worcestershire sauce
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons filé powder (divided)
3 large celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
sea salt and black pepper
parsley, chopped for garnish
green onions, sliced for garnish

In a large pot, stir the flour and butter until smooth.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring every 45 seconds, until the roux turns a rich brown color, about 20 minutes.

Add the Andouille, celery, onion, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic, okra, thyme, bay leaf and half of the filé powder and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, clam juice, Worcestershire and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the remaining filé powder and add the crab, oysters and their liquor.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 1 minute to just cook the oysters.  Serve the gumbo with rice or bread.

Not the same recipe, but who doesn’t miss Justin Wilson?

 

Mac & Cheese with Smoked Ham and Roasted Poblano

Classic comfort food on cold and rainy day.

Organic macaroni, extra sharp Vermont white cheddar, extra sharp Wisconsin yellow cheddar, caramelized onions, heirloom garlic, smoked ham, roasted poblano peppers and local, pastured half & half.  Seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and Piment d’Espelette, topped with fresh breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown and bubbly..