Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese and Walnut Pizza

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I used to serve small squares of this pizza as a cocktail appetizer. People loved the combination of caramelized onions with blue cheese and toasted or candied walnuts. We had it so often that I grew tired of it and that usually marks the death knell for my recipes. Once retired, they're rarely used again. This one has been pardoned and given a second life because of Meatless Mondays. As you can see, I've resurrected the recipe and we had the pizza for supper tonight. The recipe makes a nice pie and if you're looking to serve something a bit outside the box, you might enjoy this one. The pizza can be made with a standard dough or served on a flatbread or tortilla. While this is simple to make, it is not speedy and you'll need time to caramelize the onions. The mantra here remains the same. The onions must be watched as they cook. Once they start to caramelize they move from brown to black in the wink of an eye. If they char or burn you'll have to start again. This is a highly flavored pie and to enjoy it, you have to love all three of its major ingredients. If the trio appeals to you, you'll love this pizza. Here's the recipe.

Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese and Walnut Pizza - Meatless Monday...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds yellow onions, very thinly sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 pound pizza dough
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


1) Heat 2 tablespoons oil and butter in a large heavy skillet set over medium heat. Add onions and salt, stirring frequently until onions begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Add sugar and cook, stirring frequently until onions are well-browned, about 15 minutes longer. Do not allow onions to burn. Season with pepper to taste.
2) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray bottom of a round or rectangular pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Press dough into pan, building up sides slightly. Brush crust with reserved 1 tablespoon oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread onions on crust. Top with walnuts and blue cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese starts to soften and brown, about 10 minutes. Serve hot. Yield: 4 -6 servings.

You might also like these recipes:
Greek-Style Flatbread Pizza - One Perfect Bite
Onion Parmesan Focaccia with Tomatoes - One Perfect Bite
Whole Wheat Olive Flatbread Focaccia - One Perfect Bite

Happy Muffmorial Day

It's on days like this that we need to stop and remember all the tortillas that Meixcan women eat to give them the power to dangerously push their strollers across the middle of 5-lane highways.


Blue Cheese Bread

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It was a busy day. Commercial growers in our area open their fields and display gardens to the public at this time of year. We spent the day touring acres and acres of peonies, iris and hostas and, when the crowds became too much, enjoyed the respite of the grower's gardens. A few peeks at the fields and gardens follow today's recipe. A brief sunshower, called a "monkey's wedding," dampened our clothing but not our spirits and the reward for our good nature was the promised rainbow. Dinner, which came from the freezer, was a late affair of tomato soup and blue cheese bread. The combination goes extremely well together and I thought those of you who love blue cheese might want to try the bread. It is much like a garlic bread or ripped baguette and is really easy to make. Here's the recipe.

Blue Cheese Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 loaf (1 pound) unsliced French bread

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Combine butter, blue cheese, Parmesan cheese chives and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix well. Cut bread into 1-inch slices but leave slices attached at bottom of loaf. Spread cheese mixture between slices.
3) Wrap loaf in a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Fold foil around bread and seal tightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm. Yield: 10 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
My Dad's Garlic Bread - 101 Cookbooks
Roasted Garlic Bread - Vanilla Icing
Cheesy Ramp Garlic Bread - Closet Cooking

Adelman's Peony Gardens Salem, Oregon

Schreiner's Iris Gardens Salem, Oregon

Schreiner Family Garden

Schreiner Family Gardens

Seabright Hosta Display Garden Salem, Oregon

Blue Cheese and Onion Burger Topping

When I fire up the grill for burgers, it's rarely to make gourmet patties. Hamburgers are an occasional treat for Bob and me, and we so enjoy them that I'm loathe to season the meat with anything other than salt and pepper. I do, however, do a lot of work with the condiments and relishes I serve with the burgers. Among my favorites are a Balsamic Onion Marmalade which I shared with your last year. Today's blue cheese and onion topping is another. The award winning recipe was developed by Norma Reynolds for Country Woman Magazine. She uses the flavored onions as a side dish to accompany meat for special dinners. I prefer to use them as a topping for an all-American burger. You'll find these onions extremely easy to make. I've cut back a bit on the amount of butter used in her recipe and, by trial and error, have concluded that 1/4-inch onion slices work best in this dish. I like the onions to retain a faint crunch and have found that onions cut too much thinner than that tend to form an unappetizing slurry. Blue cheese can be downright unpleasant when used to excess. Here it's paired with lovely caramelized onions and creates a real taste treat. I hope you'll try this so you can judge for yourself. Here is the recipe.

Blue Cheese and Onion Burger Topping...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Country Woman Magazine


1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter, melted


1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Combine blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, dill and pepper in bowl of a food processor; cover and process until blended.
3) Place onions in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Drizzle with butter; top with tablespoonfuls of blue cheese mixture.
4) Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 cups.

You might also like these recipes:
Blue Cheese Twice Stuffed Potatoes - One Perfect Bite
Blue Cheese Steak Sandwich - One Perfect Bite
Blue Cheese Gougeres - One Perfect Bite

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

Sour Cherry Gelato - Pink Saturday

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It's next to impossible to have a celebration without cake and ice cream. The blog, How Sweet the Sound, the sponsor of Pink Saturday, is celebrating its second anniversary today and I thought I'd bring ice cream to the party. Actually, I decided to make a sour cherry gelato for the occasion. Gelato is Italy's lower fat version of ice cream. Because it is lower in butterfat, it does not freeze as firmly as ice cream and melts more quickly on the tongue. It also has a creamier taste because no air is added to it as it's made. I love to add a sour cherry puree to gelato to offset the sweetness of its creamy base. It is really simple to do and can even be made without an ice cream machine if you have time and patience. If you don't have a machine and would like to make ice cream or gelato, I suggest you read David Lebovitz's instructions on How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine. If you'd like to make my version of sour cherry gelato, here's the recipe.

Sour Cherry Gelato...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


1 pound pitted fresh or frozen sour cherries
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon kirsch liqueur


1) Place uncooked cherries in a heavy pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until reduced to about 1-1/2 cups. Puree cherries in a blender or food processor.
2) Heat milk and cream in a heavy saucepan until small bubbles form around edge of pan.
3) In bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg yolks. Slowly add sugar and continue beating until light and thick and mixture forms a ribbon when dropped from a spoon. Add milk mixture to eggs slowly, then add cherry mixture. Place over low heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Watch carefully. If mixture overheats it will curdle.
4) Strain through a sieve into a bowl and cool in ice water bath about 15 minutes. Pour into a covered container and refrigerate two to three or until chilled. Add kirsch. Pour into an ice cream machine and follow manufacturer's directions. Yield: 1 quart.

You might also like these recipes:
Peppermint Ice Cream - One Perfect Bite
Rhubarb and Raspberry Gelato - One Perfect Bite
Cranberry Chambord Sorbet - One Perfect Bite

Sauteed Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Asparagus

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The alliteration should have been my first clue. It was just too cute for words. I sat, nonetheless, and carefully read every word of the recipe before committing to make it. My last thought before moving on to the kitchen? The sauce would be too strong for the asparagus. As it turned out I was right. Every once and a while, I fall prey to a professional recipe that I sense is wrong but for some reason refuse to put down. It's misguided hero worship on my part. I still can't believe that pros put recipes out there that haven't been kitchen or field tested. This recipe failed my field test, but I decided to post it anyway. While it may be wrong for asparagus it would work nicely with fresh green beans or garlic whistles. Information about garlic whistles can be found here. The recipe makes enough sauce that the beans or whistles could be served with rice noodles and make a lovely light supper or lunch. Do be aware that once this sauce hits a green vegetable it will lose its lovely color. Here's the recipe for those of you who have not been put off.

Sauteed Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Asparagus
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

2 pounds asparagus, ends discarded
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1) Diagonally cut asparagus into 3 inch pieces.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, chili flakes and pepper. Set aside.
3) Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add 1/2 cup water and asparagus. Cover and cook until asparagus is still crisp to the bite, about 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and pour off any remaining water.
4) Add oil, garlic and ginger to pan with asparagus. Sauté until lightly browned.
5) Add soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook until sauce coats asparagus.
6) Sprinkle in toasted sesame seeds. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 - 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Penne with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce - One Perfect Bite
Asparagus and White Bean Salad - One Perfect Bite
Asparagus and Lemon Grass Risotto - One Perfect Bite

Blurring The Lines Between Muff and Reality

It hard to tell if this classic strolling-muff is shopping for bongs or dildos.  Either way, those jeans are crammed on to her non-existent Mexi-ass so tightly it's giving me a head rush.

Funeral Pie

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...One of the desserts that we considered for Bob's birthday was an Amish funeral pie. Bob was intrigued by its name and its resemblance to a mincemeat tart I serve for the holidays. Many of our friends are older than Bob and me, and I was not sure they'd appreciate being served something called a funeral pie at a birthday celebration. Bob, nonetheless, wanted to give it a try. After some negotiation, my inner diplomat successfully reasoned with his inner child and we deferred serving the pie until later in the week. The pie is traditionally served at funerals of Old Order Mennonites and Amish. It was served at so many funeral suppers that it was given the name "funeral pie." It became a favorite of Mennonite cooks because the ingredients were always available and the pie kept well. That meant it could be made a day or two before the funeral supper and freed hands for other tasks. The pie is not unpleasant, and if you love raisins or mincemeat I suspect you'll love it. One caution. It is very sweet. Susan, who writes The Well-Seasoned Chef, let us know that the pie is deliberately made cloyingly, almost painfully, sweet to allow mourners to forget, if only for a moment, the pain of their grief. If I make this again, I'll reduce the sugar by half. I would also make a lattice crust to improve its appearance. As you can see from the photo above, Bob enjoyed his pie as written. We have a Mennonite community in our area and I used a recipe given to me by one of their best bakers to make the pie. Here's the Smith family recipe.

Funeral Pie
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by the cooks of the Smith family

2 cups raisins
1 cup water
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided use
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg, beaten
Pastry for 2 crust pie

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Combine raisins, water, orange zest and juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, allspice and nutmeg in a small bowl.
Stir slowly into raisin mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in lemon juice and walnuts.
4) Roll out half the pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Fit into an 8 or 9-inch pie pan. Pour filling into pie shell.
5) Roll out remaining pastry and place over pie. Seal and flute edges. Cut several slashes into top of pie to release steam. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with reserved tablespoon of sugar. Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Yield: 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes or information:
Sister Sarah's Apple Pudding - One Perfect Bite
Apple Butterscotch Grunt - Simply Annes
Shoo-Fly Pie - Not So Humble Pie
Old Order Mennonite Blog - Old Fashioned Net
Sweet Sorrow - Rosino Pie - The Well-Seasoned Chef

This recipe is being linked to:
Designs By Gollum - Foodie Friday

The Fleshy Mexican Eagle

I bet it tastes somewhat worse than strawberry cake donut holes.

If you stood at the check-out to QuikTrips, you could probably harvest enough Meximuffs to power all the strollers in Salvation Army.

Asparagus and White Bean Salad

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Since I've committed to Meatless Mondays, I've been searching for recipes that are substantial enough to serve for dinner and tasty enough to keep a confirmed meat eater happy. That search, and local asparagus selling for less than $2.00 a pound, led me to this light and delicious entree. The recipe first appeared in Gourmet Magazine in April of 2006. The original recipe used this salad as a brushcetta topping. I've carried it a bit farther and use the salad as a filler for flour tortillas, rice wrappers or lettuce wraps. I've changed the presentation because the bruschetta proved to be very messy. There is no binder in the filling and a lot of it ended up on the table or floor. Those of you who try this recipe will be very pleased with its taste and texture. It is next to no work to assemble, but it is important to follow a couple of the directions to a tee. The asparagus must be sliced no thicker than 1/8 of an inch. While it briefly sits in a warm marinade, it is not cooked and anything thicker than that would be tough to chew. It's also important to serve the salad soon after it has been prepared. It loses color as it sits and unless your favorite color is olive drab, it behooves you to get this to the table in a timely fashion. Please note that the cheese is shaved from a brick and that the recipe measurement is for shaved, not grated, cheese. I really like this entree. It is light, bright, different and altogether perfect for a weekend lunch or a light supper. Here's the recipe.

Asparagus and White Bean Salad
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Gourmet Magazine


1 pound medium asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (15- to 19-oz) cans white beans, rinsed and drained well
1 (1/2-lb) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Flour tortillas, rice wrappers, or toasted sliced country-style bread


1) Cut asparagus on a diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
2) Bring oil, lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, then stir in beans and asparagus. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove enough cheese from piece with a vegetable peeler to measure about 1/2 cup shavings. Add shavings to beans along with parsley, then toss. Adjust salt to taste.
3) Spoon salad into wrappers or spread on warm toast. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Savory Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart - One Perfect Bite
Asparagus and Lemon Grass Risotto - One Perfect Bite
Spring Vegetable Ragout - One Perfect Bite


Five Gallons of Mayonaisse

Even if Andy Dick really is your optometrist at this Costco, you can still see that gooey roll brazenly splayed outside of her muffy tank top.

From a submicioner in the Atlanta Perimeter Costco:


The Last Best Egg Cream in New Jersey

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...He was an old man. He survived two wars, one left him with a gimpy leg, the other with a numeric tattoo. He rarely spoke of either. He came, without family, to the United States in the late 40's. He opened a small shop, called Jack's, where he sold convenience items and made breakfast and lunch for the neighborhood. The store was positioned on a street that served as an artificial barrier between neighbors in Montclair. While it was one of the first integrated communities in the country, there were areas of the town that seemed to be separated by color. In truth, the barriers were economic, rather than racial. Flanked by palaces on his right and bungalows and apartments on his left, Jack served coffee to all and was incredibly good with the neighborhood children. No one in his purview went to school hungry and it was not unusual to see a child spinning on a stool next to a Senator or ball player who was trying to read the morning paper. The shop was also a mecca for editors and writers who commuted to their jobs at The New York Times. There were so many of them that locals, had if fact, named a stretch of the town the Times Ghetto. Jack rarely smiled but there came a Monday when he beamed for most of the day. The Sunday New York Times Magazine had, in an article, named his egg cream the best in New Jersey. I learned today that Jack had passed. I will, of course, say my prayers for the dead, but he was not a religious man and would smile at my foolishness. I wanted to mark his passing in a way that would please him. I remembered the article and his smile that day. Now, my egg cream will never be a match for his, but wherever he is, he'll know I'm thinking of him. L'chaim, Jack. Shalom.

The Last Best Egg Cream in New Jersey...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


Fox U-Bet or Hershey's chocolate syrup
Whole milk
Seltzer or club soda

1) Pour 1 inch of U-Bet syrup into a soda or cola glass.
2) Gently pour 1-1/2 inches of milk on top of syrup.
3) Fill glass with seltzer or club soda and leave some room at top so it doesn't overflow.
4) Stir vigorously to get most of the chocolate from the bottom and sides of glass. Egg cream should have 1 to 2 inches of foam at top. Serve immediately.

You might also enjoy this:
New York Egg Cream - How to Make an Egg Cream - What's Cooking America
Egg Cream - Wikipedia
Can the Egg Cream Make a Comeback - New York Times
Foodie Pregnancy: The Mighty Egg Cream - Saint Tiger Lily
Egg Creams and Candy Stores - Hub Pages
The Egg Cream Lives - Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

Fatty Deposits

This shot showcases mostly FUPA , but we can get a glimpse through those straining sweatpants of what is easily a 10-pound Meximuff.  I ain't throwin' that one back.

From a submicioner in Claremont, CA at a Chase Bank;

Blanquette de Veau

Bob and I have two favorite dishes that have their roots in French peasant kitchens. Mine is Cotes de Pork L'Auvergnate, a wonderful dish of pork and cabbage that's braised in cream. Bob's is Blanquette de Veau, a white veal stew that's made with mushrooms and pearl onions that comes from Normandy. Veal, other than cutlets, is difficult to come by here. Every now and then, veal stew meat appears in one of our supermarkets and when it is available I buy all of it I can. We really love this dish and for years I served it for dinner on Christmas Eve. All cooks have dishes they make from memory. These two recipes have been burned into mine and I put them together as easily as some folks throw together a meatloaf. Practice makes perfect. It helps that they are very easy to do. Last week I was able to buy veal stew meat and made Bob his favorite stew. Here's the recipe.

Blanquette de Veau - Veal Stew with Mushrooms and Onions...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


3 pounds veal stew meat, cut in 2-inch cubes
2 quarts water
3 cups chicken broth
1 large carrot, peeled, in 3-inch chunks
1 large onion stuck with 1 whole clove
1 stalk celery, in 2-inch pieces
1 bouquet garni (1/2 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 5 parsley sprigs) tied in a coffee filter
18 medium-size white mushrooms, trimmed
1/2 of 10-ounce bag frozen pearl onions
4 tablespoon butter
5 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
3 egg yolks
Chopped parsley for garnish

1) Place veal in a 4-quart casserole. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer until heavy scum no longer rises, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse veal. Wash pan and return meat to it. Add chicken broth, carrot, celery, onion and bouquet garni to veal. Salt lightly to taste. Simmer slowly, partially covered, until meat is tender, about 1 hours. Remove pan from heat. Let pot sit, uncovered, for about 30 minutes to allow veal to absorb flavor of cooking liquid. With a slotted spoon, remove veal from cooking liquid. Set aside. Remove vegetables and bouquet garni; discard. Strain cooking liquid into a large saucepan. Wash kettle and return veal to it along with cooking liquid. Add mushrooms and onions and cook for 30 minutes longer.
2) Remove meat and vegetables to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Tent with foil to keep warm. Reserve 3 cups of cooking liquid; keep hot.
3) Melt butter in a 3 quart saucepan. Add flour and cook until flour and butter froth together for 2 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Slowly whisk in hot broth. Simmer for 10 minutes, skimming off any foam that appears on surface of sauce. Adjust seasoning and add lemon juice to taste (I generally use a tablespoon of lemon juice). Return veal, mushrooms and onions to sauce and toss gently to coat. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Blend egg yolks and cream in a small bowl. Add a ladle full of sauce to cream mixture to warm egg yolks. Remove veal from heat. Stir in cream mixture and return to a gentle heat. Stir gently until mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Do not let sauce come to a boil. Transfer to a warm serving bowl. Garnish with parsley and serve with rice or parsley buttered noodles. Yield: 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Boeuf Bourguignon - One Perfect Bite
Braised Short Ribs Côtes du Rhône - One Perfect Bite
Crock-Pot Mediterranean Pot au Feu - One Perfect Bite

Goobey Bryant

What I wouldn't give for a Denver hotel room right about now.

The Muffographer from Venice, CA says, "The front gut area had a huge tattoo!!! But I could only snap this picture from the back."

Creamy Onion and Blue Cheese Soup - Meatless Monday

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The weather turned cool and wet on Saturday. Really wet. It was not a day for salads, so I pulled an untried soup recipe from my files and had a go at it. This turned out to be a nice soup, perfect for a rainy Saturday or Meatless Monday, but I must warn you, it is not for the feint of heart. To say it is strongly flavored is an understatement, but if you love French onion soup, beer and blue cheese I suspect the first spoonful will make you a rabid fan. The recipe is much like any other you may have for French onion soup, save for the addition of lots and lots of blue cheese. The cheese gives the soup its creamy texture. I suggest you add it in increment and taste as you go along. Start with four ounces and work you way up the suggested range of measure. Eight ounces would have been ideal for me, but Bob preferred it with a full twelve ounces. The soup also uses beer instead of wine to boost flavor. A bit of caution should be exercised here. To avoid bitterness, use something that is mellow. I have, for years now, used a specific non-alcoholic beer for cooking that gives flavor without bitterness. I'm not a teetotaler. The Belgian beer that I prefer is not available in this area, but I've found that O'Doul's Amber Ale has a hops finish and is a reasonable substitute. I also puree roughly half of the soup to give it substance. While this will never replace my favorite French onion soup, I can recommend this soup to any who love strong flavors are looking to try something a bit out of the ordinary. Here's the recipe.

Creamy Onion and Blue Cheese Soup
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted fro The Spoon


6 (8-oz.) yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon sage
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 (12-oz.) bottle O'Doul's Amber Ale
4 to 12 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

1) Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven until butter melt and mixture sizzles. Add onions and stir to coat. Cover pan and cook at a medium-low temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and translucent. Uncover, raise heat to medium-high, and stir in salt and sugar. Cook, stirring only to prevent burning, until onions are a deep golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes.
2) Lower heat to medium, stir in flour to form a paste with onions. Cook, stirring constantly, until flour is lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock or water, stirring to blend stock with onion mixture. Add thyme, bay leaf and sage along with remain stock and beer to pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook slowly for 30 to 40 minutes. Place 1/3 to 1/2 of soup in a blender jar, Puree, being careful not to burn yourself. Return to pot. Add cheese in 4 ounce increments to taste. Add salt and pepper as required. Continue cooking over low heat for 30 minutes longer. Do not allow soup to boil once cheese has been added. Serve piping hot. Yield: 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these meatless entries:
Vegan Red Lentil and Pepper Flan - One Perfect Bite
Vegan Red Lentil Soup - One Perfect Bite
Pasta Primavera - One Perfect Bite

This recipe is being linked to Meatless Monday at My Sweet and Savory

Ghee and Me - A Love Affair Not Meant to Be

Strained, freshly made ghee

Solidified ghee

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When the book of life is writ and I approach the pearly gates, a footnote will be appended to my dossier. The notation will inform the gate keeper that I made ghee - once. I should be ashamed of myself I know. A goodly portion of the world makes ghee and they do it without complaint. Not only do I complain, I complain when it is not necessary. It's not so much that ghee is hard to make, it's that it's a bother to make. It takes time and patience and a serenity that seems, still, to elude me. Ghee is a fat that is much like clarified butter. There is one major difference, however. Ghee is made by simmering melted butter and allowing the milk solids at the bottom of the pan to brown before straining. The foam at the top of the butter is whey, while the brown bits on the bottom of the pan are curds. The clear oil that remains after straining the curds and whey is pure butterfat or ghee, and it has a high smoke point that makes it great for frying. Clarified butter is made in much the same way, save for the fact that the curds at the bottom of the pan are not allowed to brown. The browning gives ghee a subtle nutty flavor that can't be found in clarified butter. As to my unnecessary complaints, I live in a university community that has an Indian grocery store. I can buy ghee and do most of the time. I do, however, have an independent streak that forces me to try things that really aren't necessary. I talked myself into making ghee and now that I've done it I'll move on to other things, secure in the knowledge that I can make it should I have to. For those kindred spirits whose "been there, done that" list does not yet contain ghee, here's the recipe.

...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter


Place butter in a small heavy saucepan and set over very low heat. A heavy saucepan is necessary to prevent burning. Allow butter to melt without stirring. About 10 minutes into process, it will start to spit and a white foam will form on surface. Do not stir or shake pan. Continue cooking, over very low heat, for 30 to 40 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and skim off crusty top layer. This layer looks like a soft topping of bread crumbs. Slowly pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer that is lined with a coffee filter, making sure to leave any foam or brown bits behind. The butterfat, ghee, will be clear and lemon or light gold in color. Pour into a lidded container and seal. Ghee will thicken as it cools. While ghee can be kept at room temperature, it is best to refrigerate it. It will keep for 4 to 6 weeks. Yield: 1 cup.

You might find these related posts helpful:
How to Make Clarified Butter and Ghee - The Reluctant Gourmet
Ghee: A Wholesome Fat - The Nourished Kitchen
Clarified Butter - Cooking for Engineers

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

Rice and Red Lentil Pilaf - Kichiri

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is the dish you get when an Irish lass decides to make a wonderful Indian comfort food called kichiri. This is an easy, satisfying and cheap eat. I, however, managed to complicate it with a decision to make ghee, an oil that some call the clarified butter of India. Actually clarified butter and ghee are not the same thing. While there are similarities, ghee is cooked until all moisture is removed and the milk solids in the butter are caramelized. This gives it a rich nutty taste and assures that the "butter" has a long shelf life and a higher smoking point than its counterpart. I have a local source for ghee, but I wanted to attempt making it on my own. My curiosity is now satisfied and ghee is now on my been there, done that list. Vegetable oil or a mixture of one part oil to one part butter can also be used to make this pilaf. As you glance through the recipe you'll see that it is one that you can easily make your own. If you are unable to find red lentils substitute yellow. I will also add some heat the next time I make this pilaf. It is a wonderful accompaniment to curry or eggs. Here's the recipe.

Rice and Red Lentil Pilaf - Kichiri...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

2 tablespoons ghee, vegetable oil or a mix of butter and oil
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt + salt to taste
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dahl)
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1) Heat ghee or oil in a large frying pan that has a lid; set over medium-high heat
and warm until oil shimmers. Add garlic and ginger and toss until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, combine salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander and pepper flakes in a small bowl.
3) Stir spice mixture into onions and cook for 1 minute, tossing to make sure everything is combined. Stir in rice and lentils and cook 5 minutes longer. Add vegetable stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir well, reduce heat, cover pan and cook for 20 minutes. Do not remove lid. Remove pan from heat. Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover pan and gently fluff rice with a fork. Stir in cilantro and serve hot or warm. Yield: 4 servings.

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Strawberry Panna Cotta - Pink Saturday

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...While local strawberries aren't ready to harvest, those in the supermarkets no longer taste like cardboard and can be used to make some passable desserts. Several years ago, I discovered fruit extracts that can be used to heighten the flavor of less than prime fruit. While I wouldn't use the berries that are currently available for short cake or a glacéd tart, they work perfectly well in desserts such as panna cotta, especially when given the flavor boosts a pure fruit extract can provide. I must admit that those of us who live in Oregon are spoiled by the quality of fruit that is available to us. While markets glorify huge strawberries, most folks never get to taste the small field berries that are available to us in season. Pure ambrosia! I like this version of panna cotta because it's made with buttermilk rather than heavy cream and it has a slight tang that makes it a pleasant way to end a meal. Panna cotta is one of the easiest of all desserts to make, but it needs time, a lot of time, to properly chill. Whenever possible, I make mine the night before I plan to serve it. While most recipes suggest than eight hours is a sufficient time for the gelatin to set, I've found twelve hours to be ideal. Once made, they can be kept for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. I like to serve these with macerated berries or a fruit compote to keep the dessert light. Here's the recipe.

Strawberry Panna Cotta...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by Gourmet magazine

Panna Cotta
3 cups sliced strawberries (1 pound)
1-3/4 cups well-shaken low-fat buttermilk
6 tablespoons sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, from less than 2 (1/4-oz) envelopes
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Optional: 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
Fruit Compote
2-1/2 cups strawberries (preferably small; 3/4 lb), trimmed
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons superfine granulated sugar


1) To make panna cotta: Blend strawberries, buttermilk, and sugar in a blender until very smooth, then pour through a very fine sieve into a medium bowl, pressing hard on solids. Discard solids. Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 1 minute to soften. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture, stirring until dissolved. Whisk cream mixture into strawberry purée and pour into 6 (6-oz.) molds. Chill molds, covered, until firm, at least 8 hours. To unmold, dip molds in a small bowl of hot water 2 or 3 seconds, then invert panna cottas onto dessert plates and remove molds. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes to soften slightly.
2) To make fruit compote: Halve strawberries lengthwise if small or quarter if larger. Whisk together orange juice and superfine sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved and add strawberries, tossing to coat. Serve panna cottas with compote.
Yield:6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Pumpkin Panna Cotta - One Perfect Bite
Lemon Panna Cotta with Raspberry-Orange Sauce - The Recipe Girl
Toasted Almond Panna Cotta - Cooking for Seven

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

Thank You

We owe special thanks this week to:

Nesting Newbies Magazine for including One Perfect Bite in their End Notes: Best Blogs feature.

Saveur Magazine for featuring another recipe from One Perfect Bite in their Sites We Love feature.

Food News Journal for a second mention of One Perfect Bite in their Best of the Blogs feature.

Po Cha and Clues to Our Destination

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The suspense is over. Our holiday plans have been finalized. Selection of a location was really difficult this year. Bob and I had different adventures in mind and the final decision was made in the only fair way possible. We quite literally pulled a photo from a stack spread like playing cards of the table. There was a randomness to it that made the whole thing seem more fair than might otherwise have been the case. I'm happy to report we are both happy with the decision the gods of chance made on our behalf. It will be an adventure and I'll be counting the days until it actually begins. October is a ways off but that gives us time to get visas and study more about the places we'll be visiting. I'm going to keep you in the dark for a while longer. I've put together some photos of people and places we'll be visiting to see if you can identify the three countries we'll be touring. I'm also including one recipe associated with the most remote of the places on our itinerary. We have promised the children, who don't like the words trek or safari used in the same breath as their parent's names, that this is absolutely, positively our last visit to remote locales with sometimes fragile political systems. They are dubious. Seems I said that last year as well. I really meant it, but the back and legs and brain have held up well and this seems like the right thing for us to do. At any rate, here is the recipe for a drink that really should be made with yak milk and butter. I must say it is a real challenge to the palate even when made with cows milk and butter from a local creamery. I don't always do well with foods that fall into the acquired taste category. It took me years to enjoy a martini. I comfort myself with the knowledge I tried it, and who knows, it may taste better in country. Here's the scoop for other brave and kindred souls.

Po Cha......from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

5 -6 cups water
3 black tea bags or 2 tablespoons loose black tea
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk, half-and-half or 1 teaspoon milk powder

1) Bring five to six cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat. Add tea bags or loose tea and simmer for several minutes more. Remove tea bags or strain loose tea.
2) Pour steeped tea, salt, butter and milk or milk powder into a blender or chandong, a type of churn. You can also shake the tea in a thermos bottle. Churn, blend or shake the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes. Our into cuos and serve piping hot: Yield: 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Ginger Tea - One Perfect Bite
Blueberry Tea - One Perfect Bite
Himalayan Salted Butter Tea - Not Quite Nigella
Yak Butter Tea - The Greedy Glutton

This recipe is being linked to:
Designs By Gollum - Foodie Friday

Strawberry Tea Bread - Sweet Cheeks Winery

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We have in our community a winery with a most unusual name. Before that can be shared, I must describe, as best I can, the property on which the winery sits. The acreage is bisected by a service road that cuts through the two rounded hillsides on which the grapes are grown. A contingent of locals insisted the property resembled a well-rounded derriere and conspired to have the winery named Sweet Cheeks. It worked. Now this kind of nonsense can't be plucked from the ether. Every word of this is true. I swear. I'm going to resist jokes about "bottom lands" and instead send those of you who would like to know more about the winery or my veracity here. Now, it is perfectly logical to ask why I bothered to tell you about the winery at all. It's also reasonable to ask what it has to do with a strawberry tea bread. So, here's how we got from there to here. I had promised to bring four loaves of this bread to a meeting this morning. I was in such a rush to finish the breads that I misjudged the distance between oven racks and, as a result, the bottom loaves baked into the racks above them. Bob thought the crease that developed in the two bottom loaves was a lot funnier than was actually the case and dubbed my loaves Sweet Cheeks Strawberry Bread. Those who are fond of European tea breads that are less sweet than their American counterparts will love this bread. If you are accustomed to a really sweet strawberry bread, you might want to take a pass on this. I'll let you judge for yourselves. Here's the recipe.

Strawberry Tea Bread
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Taste of Home magazine


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, divided use

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
2) In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well.
3) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Batter will be thick. Fold in strawberries and 1/2 cup nuts.
4) Scrape into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle top with reserved 1/4 cup walnuts. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf.

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Lemon Poppyseed Bread - One Perfect Bite
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Sugar Crusted Viennese Nut Bread - One Perfect Bite