Year-End Round-Up - Pink Saturday

Happy New Year! I hope you've had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to all the new year will bring your way. I thought this would be a good day to post year-end round-ups and let you see which entries on One Perfect Bite proved to be your favorites. I divided the round-up into three columns. The first contains those entries that received the most attention. Columns two and three contain those that were well received and are favorites of mine, but didn't make it to the top ten list.

Most ViewedMy Savory PicksMy Sweet Picks

1. Pumpkin Butter
2. Braised Short Ribs Côtes-du-Rhône
3. Norwegian Christmas Bread

4. Watermelon Smoothie
5. Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup
6. Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

7. "Real" Coffee Cake
8. Bow Ties with Sausage and Leek Sauce
9. Cold Lime Souffle

10. Cranberry Layered Cheese Cake
11. Bouillabaisse de Poulet
12. Blueberry Flognard

13. Pumpkin Apple Bread
14. Asparagus Soup
15. Lemon Sponge Pudding with Apricot Sauce

16. Pilgrim Hat Cookies
17. Cotes du Porc A L'Auvergnate
18. Apfel Sahne Torte

19. Refrigerator Dill Pickles
20. Thai Tamarind Shrimp
21. Sour Cherry Pie with Streusel Topping

22. Fettuccini with Corn Pesto
23. Cantonese Fried Noodles
24. Old-Fashioned Lemon Pudding

25. Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs
26. Yucatan-Style Chicken Lime and Orzo Soup
27. Key Lime and White Chocolate Cake Squares

28. Iced Watermelon Drinks
29. Moules Marinier
30. Chocolate Hazelnut Pie with Vanilla Cream

This post is being linked to:
Pink Saturday, sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

♬ Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise - New Year's Eve 2010 ♬

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I can think of no better way to usher in the New Year than in the company of family and good friends. The New Year here is heralded with a show of fireworks to mark the passage of one year to the next. At midnight Bob and I, and those with us, will stand, glass in hand, to propose a toast to absent friends, those separated from us by time and place, as well as those who have made the final journey home. All are remembered with great joy as we recall the lessons they have taught us and the richness they have brought our lives. I treasure the time they spent at my table and their places there will always be reserved. I include you in their number and wish each of you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Here's to absent friends. Here's to all of you. Happy New Year.

Please don't miss the short film clip at the end of this post. It is the farewell waltz scene from the movie, Waterloo Bridge. It is lovely and quite appropriate for New Year's Eve.

Our holiday season doesn't end until the 2nd of January and that means special dinners are served on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The meals are rarely difficult to prepare, but they always have a festive air about them. I decided to make bouillabaisse this year because I had a new supply of saffron and knew everyone would enjoy the novelty and casual elegance of this dish. The folks at my local fish market were co-conspirators in its creation, and helped to find fish that would provide the flavor I needed without breaking the bank. My version of this dish is based on Julia Child's Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise. Bouillabaisse is really a fish chowder which contains a variety of fish that is simmered in an aromatic fish broth. The chowder is eaten from shallow soup bowls and often served with toasted bread and a garnish of rouille. Rouille is a rust colored sauce that can be stirred into the bouillabaisse or spread on croutons that usually accompany the soup. For best flavor six or more varieties of fish should be used to make the chowder. That is why it makes no sense to make this dish for fewer than six people. Some of the fish should be firm fleshed and gelatinous, like halibut; some should be tender and flaky like sole. The firm fish hold their shape, and the tender fish partially disperse in the soup. Shellfish are optional, but I truly can't imagine a bouillabaisse without them. The fish can be prepared several hours before cooking and refrigerated until needed. The soup base can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. Once the soup stock is brought to a boil, it will take about 20 minutes to cook the fish. The bouillabaisse should be served immediately with a crusty bread and rouille. It is an altogether lovely meal. The recipe for bouillabaisse and rouille appear below.

Bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Julia Child

Chowder Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped leek
4 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
2-1/2 quarts water
Sprigs of fresh herbs: thyme, parsley, fennel fronds and basil (in any combination)
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 pounds fish heads, bones, trimmings, shrimp shells
1-1/2 pounds each peeled shrimp; wild cod, halibut and sole cut into chunks
1-1/2 pounds scrubbed and debearded or clams
Toasted rustic bread

Chowder Directions:
Heat oil in a tall 6 to 8 quart pot over medium heat; add onion and leek and cook gently until softened. Stir in garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant, then add tomato paste, water, herbs, saffron, salt and fish bones. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat so broth bubbles slowly without boiling. Cook 30 minutes, then strain broth into a large bowl or another pot, discarding solids. Pour broth back into stockpot and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink, a minute or two. Add rest of the fish and shellfish, cover and simmer until the mussels or clams open. Taste soup and add more salt and freshly ground pepper if needed. Serve bouillabaisse with toasted bread and rouille on the side. Yield: 6 servings.

Rouille Ingredients:
1 roasted and peeled red bell pepper
1 roasted hot red chile pepper or ground cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small peeled garlic clove
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs or finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Rouille Directions:
Puree everything except olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Slowly add olive oil while processing to form a paste.

Auld Lang Syne

The Farewell Waltz

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Italian Fish Soup with Fresh Herbs, Fennel, Shallots and Garlic - Karista's Kitchen

Oyster Stew - Seriously Soupy
Icelandic Fish Soup - For the Love of Food
Provencal Seafood Bisque - Simply Recipes
Simple Fish Soup - Tobias Cooks
Swedish Fish Soup - Klutzy Chef
Zuppa di Pesce Alla Napoletana - Memorie di Angelina
Seafood Bourride - Blue Kitchen

Cranberry Trifle

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I want to classify this as a leftover dessert because it is just that in our house. It's made from bits and bobs of other Christmas desserts and the trifle is a last minute effort to see that nothing goes to waste. It is delicious and quite simple to do if you have all the elements at hand. It is, unfortunately, quite involved if you have to start from scratch. Not hard, mind you, just time consuming. To make ours, I used the remains of our orange-flavored Christmas pound cake, homemade cranberry conserve and a Crème Anglaise that had been made for other purposes. I additionally used frozen, thawed mixed berries and real whipped cream to complete the layering of the trifle. I have included recipes for the various elements of this dessert and instructions for its assembly below, but if you would prefer to make a semi-homemade version of the dessert, frozen pound cake, commercial cranberry preserves, a pudding mix and whipped topping can be used. If at all possible, I recommend making your own pudding or Crème Anglaise and using real whipped cream. There is a point at which time saving ingredients become counter productive and produce a dessert that might look gorgeous but have a synthetic flavor. This is one of those desserts. I rarely serve trifle following a meal. I prefer to serve it as a stand alone dessert with coffee later in the evening. I also like to serve this in individual portions, but you can, if you wish, make one large trifle. Here's are the recipes you need to make the trifle from scratch.

Cranberry Trifle...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from a recipe by Daniel Golden

1 sponge or pound cake, cut into 1” by 6” pieces
1 recipe Crème Anglaise (or vanilla pudding)
1 recipe cranberry preserves (or commercial preserves)
1 recipe whipped cream (or whipped topping)
32 ounces frozen mixed berries, thawed
2 ounces toasted almonds
½ cup cranberries

1) To assemble, begin with a layer of cake. Add a layer of mixed berries. Place cranberry preserves directly on top of berries, followed by a layer of Crème Anglaise. Top with whipped cream and garnish with toasted almonds and sugared cranberries. Yield: 6 to 8 individual trifles or one large trifle.

Recipes for Components

Cranberry Preserves
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups cranberries
28 ounce jar of orange marmalade
1 pinch of ground cloves

Dissolve sugar into orange juice over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients to orange juice mixture and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Chill preserves in refrigerator.

Crème Anglaise
9 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups heavy whipping cream
4 teaspoons vanilla

Combine egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix until thickened. Heat cream in a medium sauce pan until it begins to bubble slightly. Whisk cream into egg mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Return mixture to sauce pan. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Take care to not allow mixture to boil. When thickened, move Crème Anglaise to mixing bowl to cool. Stir, occasionally, as it cools to prevent skin forming on top. Chill. Add vanilla and serve.

Sponge Cake
1 cup flour
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a small mixing bowl, stir flour with whisk to break it up. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks, half of sugar, and vanilla until thickened. Add flour to top of egg mixture, but do not stir in. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form. Gently add remaining sugar to egg white mixture. Continue to whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture. Transfer batter into a buttered 9” by 12” pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until knife can be inserted and removed clean. When cool, cut cake into 1” wide by 6” long strips.

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients until stiff. Chill whipped cream until ready to use.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Peach and Mango Trifle - Adora's Box
Cranberry Trifle - Tasty Tidbits
Eggnog Tiramisu Trifle - Half Baked
English Trifle with Pears and Cherries - Lindaraxa's Garden
Christmas Pudding Trifle - The English Kitchen
Panettone and Orange Trifle - Alessandra Zecchini
Accidental Chocolate Trifle - Food Loves Writing
Raspberry Trifle - Healthy and Gourmet

French Dip Sandwich

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a wonderful sandwich and a great way to finish leftover beef. The sauce in this recipe, developed by Rachael Ray , is unusually flavorful and while the original sandwich is made with deli-sliced beef, it translates well to the use of leftover meat, especially if rare beef is used. The main component of this sauce is condensed beef consomme. I know this will be off-putting to many of you, but I'm going to ask you to trust me. A bit of sherry or vinegar will change the nature of the consomme and make it a truly delicious base for a sauce. Most cooks shy away from condensed consomme because of its salty and very sweet taste. It's important to know, that when properly used, it can make an ordinary dish special. I use it quite often in competition recipes where the number and strength of ingredients can determine the success or failure of an entry. As a bit of an aside, in an amateur competition your fate is often determined by a single bite, so it is necessary that contest recipes be strongly flavored and that that first bite explode on the judges tongues. There is a downside to this. Many things become cloying or too rich for the palate with repeated bites. The judges will never know that. I'm not complaining mind you. I've won some wonderful prizes with recipes designed for judges rather than you. I just don't publish them here. I digress. I made two changes/additions to this recipe. I toasted the buns and spread them with a blue cheese butter which you can find here. Other than that, the recipe belongs to Rachael Ray. Here's how the sandwiches are made.

French Dip Sandwiches
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cans beef consomme, undiluted
1-1/2 pounds thinly sliced rare beef
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 sandwich rolls, split and toasted
Optional: Blue cheese butter

1) In a large, shallow skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Add shallots to butter and saute 2 minutes. Add flour to butter and shallot and cook a minute longer. Whisk in sherry and cook liquid out. Whisk in consomme in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve sandwiches.
2) Pile meat loosely across your cutting board or a large work surface. Season meat with salt and black pepper. Set out 4 ramekins or small soup cups for dipping sauce, 4 dinner plates and 4 split and toasted sandwich rolls that have been spread with blue cheese butter.. To assemble, using a pair of kitchen tongs, dip meat into loose au jus sauce and pile into rolls. Set ramekins or cups with extra dipping sauce along side the sandwiches. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Superb Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich - In the Kitchen with Kath
Andolouse Beef Sandwich - The Housewife Diary
Crock Pot Hoagies - Dinners for a Year and Beyond
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches - Jane Deere
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork - Never Enough Thyme
Blue Cheese Steak Sandwich - One Perfect Bite
Hanger Steak Sandwich - Guilty Kitchen

Fennel and Saffron Bread and the Suitcase Saga

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...There really is a connection between today's recipe and what the Silver Fox and I call the suitcase saga. We returned from India seven weeks ago. It was a wonderful trip, save for the fact that our luggage and that of the small group with whom we were traveling was lost. The airline was not helpful, and, as it happened, our luggage stayed in Kathmandu for a far longer time than we did. I was especially irritated because one of the suitcases contained gifts for the children, notes from cooking classes and spices that included a large quantity of saffron. We were about to begin negotiations for claims reimbursement, when Santa, in the guise of a Fed-Ex man delivered the supposedly irrecoverable luggage on Christmas Eve. The only problem was his truck contained all of the missing luggage and I had a momentary skirmish with the driver when I refused to accept any suitcase that had a luggage tag that did not bear our name. It took several phone calls and some head scratching to determine the next course of action, but the matter was finally resolved to every one's satisfaction and rest of the luggage was rerouted and sent on to its rightful owners. The good news was I had my saffron and that meant we could have bouillabaisse on New Year's Eve. It also gave me the opportunity to try a bread originally designed to go with the soup. The bread is the creation of Jacques Collet whose bread shops are famous in France. The bread is made with crushed fennel seeds and saffron and it is not for the faint of heart. It has a soft lovely crumb, and the addition of semolina also gives the bread a crisp exterior that makes it perfect for dipping into bouillabaisse. The bread is strongly flavored and some thought should be given to when you might want to use it. It is perfect for Mediterranean soups and stews, but I don't think it works for much else. I find its unique flavor too strong for sandwiches or toast. The bread is very easy to make and its color in daylight is beautiful. I really like this. I think you will too. Here's the recipe.

Fennel and Saffron Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Jacques Collet


1-1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 to 2-1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon fennel seed, freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron
1 cup semolina flour
Coarse cornmeal

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and 1 cup unbleached flour. Stir until thoroughly blended. Proof for about 5 minutes.
2) Once proofed and foamy, add salt, fennel seed, and saffron, and stir to blend. Add semolina flour, little by little, stirring to blend. Stir in up to 1-1/4 cups more unbleached flour, working dough until it is too stiff to stir. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and begin kneading, adding additional unbleached flour if dough is too sticky. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes.
3) Place dough in a bowl. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
4) Sprinkle a baking sheet with coarse cornmeal. Punch down dough. Shape into a firm ball and set on baking sheet. Cover with a cloth and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
5) After about 40 minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
6) Bake bread in center of oven until crust is crisp and brown, about 40 minutes. Set on a rack to cool before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Pain au Levain - Stumptown Savory
Rustic Potato Herb Bread - Playing House
Italian Bread - Annie's Eats
Basic Potato Bread - Cooking with K
New York Deli Rye Bread - Smitten Kitchen
Sourdough Seeded Rye Bread - Coconut and Lime
Debbie's Whole Wheat Bread - Tasty Tidbits

This post is also being linked to:
Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting


starting our new year off with a big one!

playing the Jimmy Fallon show on Monday, Jan 3.

Want tickets to the show? go to and enter band code BST.

We are stokkkked!!!!