Lemon Curd with a Rosemary infused Chocolate crust

Rosemary Infused Chocolate Crust

Butter – 12 TBSP
Rosemary sprigs – 4
Graham crackers – 15 whole crackers
Unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or dark) – 2 TBSP
Raw sugar – 3 TBSP

Lemon Filling

Whole organic eggs – 4
Egg yolks – 4
Raw sugar – 1 ½ cup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – ¾ to 1 cup
Butter, cubed – 1 cup (2 sticks)

Candied Lemons

Lemon slices, from already washed and dried lemons – 10 to 12 thin slices (see notes)
Water – 1 cups
Raw sugar – ¾ cup
To make the crust: Spray the pan with a bit of baking spray. Preheat oven to 350°.

In a small saucepan melt the butter with the rosemary sprigs and the salt over low heat. As soon as the butter sizzles, retire from heat and shake a bit the saucepan for a few seconds. Return to heat and let it simmer for a few second, then repeating the process of removing from heat and shaking the pan, and returning to heat a few more times, until the butter is fragrant with the rosemary. Remove the rosemary sprigs and pass the butter through a sieve to remove any loose leaves. Set aside.

Place the cookie pieces, cocoa powder and sugar in the bowl of a food processor already attached to the base. Pulse two to three times to integrate everything and make the crumbs smaller. Start running the food processor again and pour in the melted butter, just until the crumbs are very fine and compact, about 10 to 15 seconds. If there are still big crumbs of crackers, integrate the crumbs stuck to the wall of the bowl and pulse a couple of second more. The crumbs will appear dry but they are ok. Transfer the content to the baking pan you will be using. Press onto the bottom and up to the sides, until the crumbs are evenly distributed and you have reach the edges of the pan with them. You may use a bottom-flat small measuring cup or utensil to help yourself press down and distribute the crumbs. Bake for 7 minutes, until the crust has browned and feels firm to the touch. Place it in the fridge to cool down.

To make the filling: In a medium glass bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar and lemon juice. Fill a large skillet with water until half thru. Place the bowl on the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Keep whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to heat. Continue moving with a wooden spoon. Move frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 7 minutes but it could take a bit longer. You are looking for a mixture that covers the back of a wooden spoon and when you run a finger through it the mixture will leave a clear pass. Retire from heat and immediately pass the mixture through a sieve. Start adding the butter, a few cubes at a time and mix until almost melted before adding the next cubes. Mix until all the butter is melted and then continue mixing for a couple of minutes more to make the curd more airy and light. Pour over chocolate shell and chill for 6 to 8 hours or preferably overnight.

To make the candied lemons: In a medium or large skillet over medium heat combine water with sugar and mix just until sugar dissolves. Stop moving after the sugar has dissolved. Bring water to a boil and submerge the lemon slices. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Flip the lemons and cook for 10 minutes more, being cautions that the sugar doesn’t burn, I’ve made that mistake many of times. Using cooking tongs, retire each lemon slice and place over a rack or parchment paper. Wait a few minutes to allow the lemon slices to cool down a bit and sprinkle each lemon slice with sugar if desired. Let them cool down and dry completely in a cool dry space or in the fridge. Place the candied lemons over the tart for decoration.

Chef Willman

Vegan Chili Verde Dip

This recipe is so fantastic! We roasted the tomatillos to make the best verde sauce separate from the chili and then blended together because WHY NOT!!

4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño
3 tomatillos
olive oil for pan
1/2 large red onion
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 can corn kernels
1 15 oz can great northern beans
1/2 cup quinoa
1 quart vegetable broth
3/4 tsp salt
garnishes- lime, cilantro, feta, avocado

Oven set to broil. High. Place 4 large garlic cloves on pan, 3 tomatillos (husks removed, rinsed and halved), and 1 jalapeño on sheet pan to brown. After first minute you’ll want to remove only the garlic because burnt garlic is no bueno. Wait for tomatillos and jalapeño to char before removing. Took 4 minutes in my oven. I flipped once.

In a 2.5 inch pan or stewing pot (dutch oven) cook up the diced red onion until translucent. My burner is set on 6 out of 10 when doing this. Stir in oregano, chili powder and cumin. MMMMM its getting more fragrant!! Add the drained corn, drained great northern beans, uncooked quinoa, 3 cups of broth and salt. Cook for 15 minutes, still on burner setting 6. Add kale. Cook another 5 minutes.

Now that the charred pepper, tomatillos and garlic have had a chance to rest and cool, place all in a small blender with an additional 1/2 cup of broth and blend! Blend until smooth. Pour freshly made verde into the chili on the stove. Stir one last time.

It’s done! Garnish with lime, cilantro, feta, and avocado. I eat mine with tortilla chips, but this could easily be eaten in a bowl with a spoon.

Enjoy!

Chef Willman

Cheaper Chili

1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 lbs. ground beef, 80% lean
2 cloves garlic, smashed whole
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano, I used fresh
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
15 oz. tomato sauce, I used Hunts
15 oz. light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Brown onion and meat together, chop finely while cooking so the meat is in small crumbles vs large separate portions. Drain oil from meat and return to pot. Reduce heat to medium, on my stove medium is a 6. Add garlic to meat and continue to crush in pot until fragrant. Add all spices to meat. Stir and blend in seasonings. Add tomato sauce to meat, stir all together and simmer on low for 45 minutes. Add the drained and rinsed bean cans and cook for 10 more minutes. Turn stove off and serve!

I add sour cream and cilantro to mine but i’ve seen friends add avocado, jalapeños, cheese etc and I have friends who eat their chili with tortilla chips instead of a spoon! To each their own, enjoy!

Chef Willman

Vanilla Bean Strawberry Waffles

Who can resist a heavenly sweet strawberry waffle! This one is amped up with vanilla bean, a simple strawberry topping and whipped cream!

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean
1 case of strawberries, stemmed and sliced
7 Tbsp sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise (long ways) and use a small knife to scrape the fragrant mush into the milk. Add the vanilla pod and let stand 30-60 minutes. (I’ve made these waffles waiting only 20 minutes, waiting a timed 30 minutes and waiting nearly an hour. The vanilla bean in the waffles are most distinct after the hour of soaking. Not worth wasting a very expensive, delicate ingredient if you don’t take the full hour to marinade.)

In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries and 4 tablespoons of the sugar. Macerate, stirring occasionally, until the berries soften and form a syrup, about 30 minutes.

Preheat waffle maker. (We used our Japanese egg waffle maker for this round of photos but a regular Belgian waffle maker works perfectly as well.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium high speed until fluffy soft peaks form. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and whip until firm peaks form, 2-3 minutes.

Remove the vanilla pod and place the infused milk in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the egg yolks and the butter.

In a large bowl (yes, lots of bowls!), mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the milk mixture, stirring until just combined. Gently fold in the egg whites.

Ladle the batter into the waffle maker according the waffle maker instructions. Cook until waffles are crisp and browned, 3-4 minutes. A trick I’ve learned is when the waffle maker stops steaming, the waffle is ready!

To make the whipped cream, in a bowl for a hand mixer, whip the cream on medium high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, and vanilla and whip until firmer peak forms, 1-2 minutes.

To remove the waffle, use a spatula. Serve right away with strawberry syrup mixture and whipped cream. No actual store bought syrup is needed. These are full of flavor and sweet enough! Enjoy!

Chef Willman

White Fish Ceviche

14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
olive oil for drizzle
Salt and Pepper
2 sweet potatoes

14 oz very fresh Cod, or skinless firm white fish
1 red onion, thinly sliced
juice of 3 limes
1/2 tsp salt
1 red chili, thinly sliced
handful of cilantro leaves, julienned
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven too 400°F
Spread chickpeas on baking tray, drizzle liberally with oil, salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes or until crisp and golden
Peel sweet potatoes, slice into think chunks. Steam 5-7 minutes until tender.
To prepare ceviche thinly slice the fish. Place in medium bowl and add the onions.
Combine lime juice and salt in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve salt. Pour over the fish and onion and stir to coat. Set aside 10 minutes.
Add the chili to the fish and toss to coat.
Drain the fish, reserving the juice.
Arrange sweet potatoes on plate, followed by fish. Drizzle plate with lime juice. Scatter chickpeas, herbs and freshly cracked pepper on top. Enjoy!

Chia Seed Sweet Bowl

I serve this sweet bowl for breakfast but honestly friends, it could be served as dessert! Completely healthy dessert too so no one has an excuse 😉

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 to 3 chopped pitted dates
1/2 tsp probiotic powder
1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
Pinch of Celtic sea salt
2 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp sliced raw almonds
1 cup sliced strawberries

In a small bowl, add the dates with just enough boiled water to cover them. Allow them to soak for 10 minutes; then drain the water off. If you’re unfamiliar with this process just know the skins will peel back and you do not need to discard skin before adding it to the blender.
Add almond milk, soaked dates, probiotic powder, vanilla, and salt into the blender, and blast on high for 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.
Pour blender mixture into serving bowl with the chia seeds and sliced almonds, stir.
Place in refrigerator overnight. Add strawberries and almonds to top if desired. The strawberries are going to add that delicious tart flavor to this sweet healthy bowl.

Spicy Broccoli Salad

If you don’t think you can enjoy raw veggies, this salad will change your mind!

Dressing
1⁄3 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup raw pine nuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Blend until creamy— and OMG this dressing will make your weak at the knees!

Salad
3 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup each of any raw seeds you love*
Celtic sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl! Add dressing and serve!

*I used sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and shelled hemp seeds. 1/4 cup EACH.

Did some research because I had always heard celery was basically water. BUT! Do not overlook celery as a health hero, this sexy stalk neutralizes acidic wastes and calms the nervous system. Plus its loaded with Vitamins A, B, C, and K; and folate so celery loves on the liver. Now we know!

Cornish Hen

I bought this Cornish Hen frozen and allowed it to thaw slowly in the refrigerator for two days. Unexpectedly the neighbors came over last night while I was cozied up on my couch and my first thought was ‘lets make dinner!‘ So we did! The kids seasoned the Hen and it really was that simple! I have a big hike planned for Monday so while the hen was cooking we also made some energy bars! The base of the bars were all the same but the extra special flavors on top made it fun for the kids. I will add these very easy energy bars in the next post!

1 Cornish Hen
1 lemon
1 orange
1 Tbsp Rosemary
1 Tbsp Thyme
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Cut citrus in half and squeeze juices onto raw meat. Sprinkle on the herbs followed by the salt and pepper. Place the hen into the oven for a full hour.
Baste Hen with 1 Tbsp olive oil and place back in oven for another 10 minutes. Should be a deep golden brown and ready to eat!

This Hen was so full of flavor and juicy! The perfect portion of meat for two or three people. Various ways to amp up the flavor include adding a salt brine during defrost or rubbing butter under the skin after thawing but before seasoning.

Enjoy 🙂
Chef Willman

Spaghetti Sauce

8 Large Tomatoes
1 lb ground beef (I use ground Chuck, cut from the shoulder, rich in flavor and tender texture)
1 lb mild italian sausage (use hot if you like it, will provide a spicier sauce)
1/2 white onion, shredded
1/4 C. freshly shredded carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. red wine
1/4 C. beef stock
Salt
5 large leaves Basil
Fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves)

Align 8 tomatoes in casserole dish and drizzle liberally with salt and safflower oil, or any high heat oil. Roast at 450°F for 25-30 minutes or until desired doneness. I like mine to be collapsing and charred.
While tomatoes are roasting, cook your meat in a large pot (I used a dutch oven). Add both raw meats, shredded onions and carrots at the same time. The natural fats from the beef will sweat out and provide your pan with a fatty coating so no need to use extra oils. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow ingredients to cook until almost brown. Add fresh garlic for about 1 minutes or until fragment. Add red wine and beef stock and allow to cook for 20 minutes more on a low to simmer temperature.
Take roasted tomatoes out of oven and sprinkle again with salt (about 1/2 Tbsp) and allow to cool. Once cooled, add tomatoes to blender with fresh basil. Important that its fresh. Pulse until all is blended.
Drain meat. Return meat to Dutch Oven pot (or large pot that retains heat). Pour tomato sauce from blender over the meat and stir. Set stove to a simmer temperature. Add fresh herbs of your choice. I like to use fresh oregano, rosemary and thyme. I used 3 pre packaged bay leaves but if you have the real deal even better! Allow sauce to marinade with the fresh herbs, the longer the better.

Serve with fresh pasta. I like to add cracked pepper to my dough before adding it to my spaghetti cutter attachment.

Enjoy!

Chef Willman

Cranberry Curd with Ginger Crumb Crust

Crust
5 ounces gingersnaps
1 c. walnuts
3 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp butter melted

Filling
12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp and cut in pieces

Garnish
sugared cranberries
fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat oven to 350F
Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. Add the walnuts, and sugar and process again until everything is finely ground. Add the butter and process briefly to combine. I used the ‘Pulse’ button.
Pat the crust into a 9 inch pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Put the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer the cranberries, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until they’ve popped and the mixture is noticeably thick. Let cool slightly and then puree until completely smooth.
Whisk the puree, the eggs, yolks, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, this will take about 10 minutes or so. Stay by the pan the whole time and stir!
Push the curd through a mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to get it all through.
Let the curd cool for a few minutes and then drop the room temperature butter in, bit by bit, while you stir to melt it. This helps make the curd glossy.
Pour the curd into the pie crust and smooth out evenly. Chill the pie until it is firm, about 2 hours or so.
Decorate with sugared cranberries if you like. Note: A sugared cranberry is just a glorified word for cranberry rolled in sugar 😉