Sunday, December 13, 2009

leek and goat cheese galette

Once again I have taken one of Deborah Madison's ingenious recipes and adapted it using ghee. The results: delicous!
I have been somewhat skeptical of using ghee in place of butter for real pastry crust and dough but I have been pleasantly surprised. I find that as long as you keep a jar in the refrigerator for recipes that call for cold butter, it works beautifully...As noted in past posts regarding baking with ghee you must use 25-50% less ghee than you would butter for optimal results...

Leek and Goat Cheese Galette


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8-10 tablespoons cold Ancient Organics Ghee
1/3-1/2 cup ice water as needed

To make the dough:


Flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the ghee as you add tablespoons. You can use a hand method (such as knife and fork) or a food processor. It will resemble a coarse meal with a few pea sized chunks remaining. Sprinkle the ice water slowly over the top as you pulse the food processor until you can bring the dough together into a ball. Press it into a disk and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.


6 large leeks, including an inch of the green
2 tablespoons Ancient Organics Ghee
1 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 heavy cream
salt and freshly milled pepper
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 to 1 cup goat cheese (soft chevre or a harder feta both work well)

To make the topping:

Thinly slice the leeks (after thoroughly washing them). You should have about 6 cups.

Melt the ghee in a medium sauce pan. Add the leeks, thyme, and 1/2 cup water. Stew over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until it's reduced, then add the cream and cook until it just coats the leeks and little liquid remains. Let cool 10 minutes, then stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg.

To form galette:

Roll out dough ( I find that it's easiest between two sheets of parchment paper) into a 14" irregular circle about 1/8" thick. Transfer to a cookie sheet and proceed with the addition of toppings.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the leek mixture over the dough, leaving about 2" around the edge and then crumble goat cheese or feta over the top. Fold in the dough to make a crust around the filling. Brush the crust with the remaining egg and bake until the crust is browned about 25-30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

pumpkin cupcakes



2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons ANCIENT ORGANICS GHEE at room temperature
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can organic pumpkin puree

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line the cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

In a large bowl combine sugars. Then add the eggs and ghee and whisk until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients
and whisk until smooth, don’t over stir the batter. Add the pumpkin puree and combine thoroughly.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each a little over halfway. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean and the
tops spring back when touched, about 20-25 minutes for regular cupcakes and 15-20 for minis.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

For Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 package cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons Ancient Organics Ghee (chilled and hardened from being in the fridge)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pulse cream cheese and Ghee in the food processor until creamy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and
mix until thoroughly combined.
Using a knife or a pastry bag, apply frosting to cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

sunday breakfast

scrambled eggs made with ghee and goat cheese.
whole wheat toast with walnuts, spread with ghee.
sweet potato, caramelized torpedo onion and sun-dried tomato hash made with ghee.

roasted cauliflower + sweet potatoes

This was born as a last minute side dish for dinner the other night...Impromptu creations are the best!

1 head cauliflower
2 sweet potatoes (you could also use yams, regular potatoes of any variety or carrots)
Ancient Organics Ghee (enough to coat veggies, 4-5 tbsp)
Handful of fresh herbs (ie parsley, thyme, basil, oregano) chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Chop the sweet potatoes into small (around 1") cubes
Break apart the head of cauliflower so that florettes are relatively small (about the size of the potatoe chunks so it all cooks evenly)
Put the veggies on a large baking sheet, drizzle ghee on top and then toss to coat. Stir in fresh herbs, salt and pepper to your taste then place in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally until cauliflower is browned and potatoes are cooked through (20-30 minutes). Remove and enjoy!
Especially good sprinkled with a little parmesan...
Can be served alongside meat or fish or eaten as a component of a vegetarian plate.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

peach cake

This recipe comes from the September issue of Gourmet magazine though I have made a few alterations, mainly switching the butter for ghee...the original recipe called for nectarines but because I had a bowl full of fresh peaches from my neighbor I used those instead and they worked beautifully..It turned out really well and would be versatile enough to serve as a summer dessert or a delicious addition to morning or afternoon tea.


1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
Rounded 1/4 tsp sat
5 tbsp ancient organics ghee
3/4 cups sugar plus 1/2 tbsp sugar divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 nectarines or peaches pitted and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 with a rack positioned in the middle. Lightly 'ghee' a springform pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt
Beat ghee and 3/4 cups sugar with an electric mixer ( a whisk works too) until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add extracts.
At a low speed or with a delicate stroke, add flour mixture until just combined, do not over beat.
Spread batter evenly in pan, then arrange the peach or nectarine slices to your liking ( you can randomly scatter or place in a pattern.
Stir together nutmeg and remaining 1/2 tbsp sugar then sprinkle over the top.
Bake until cake is golden-brown and top is firm but tender when lightly touched ( cake will rise over the fruit), 45-50 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove side of pan and cool to warm.
It does lovely on its own but a dollop of whipped cream or fresh vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt either.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Savory Fritters (wheat free)

Though we made these on a Saturday, they were so delicious we wanted start having "Fritter Fridays" and make them on a weekly basis. The batter is versatile and could be taken in so many directions, this particular incarnation is savory with purple spring onions and cilantro but we thought of everything from adding zatar and drizzling a tahini sauce on the top to adding real corn kernels and having a fresh avocado and citrus salsa as accompaniment...we will definitely be doing some more tinkering around to share with you all...

1 1/4 cups Wheat Free All Purpose Baking Flour (we prefer Bob's Red Mill see photo)
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup ghee plus more for brushing the pan
1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus additional if needed
1/4 purple spring onion (shallots will also work beautifully)
1.4 cup cilantro chopped

accompaniment: Mango Chutney

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk together yolks, ghee and milk in another bowl (the ghee might become lumpy due to the chilled milk but it will warm up again and blend as you whisk it into the dry ingredients)
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture whisking until smooth. Add chopped onion and cilantro then let the batter stand for 5 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquids, it will thicken slightly.
If the batter is too thick to fall easily off the back of a spoon, stir in one to two extra tablespoons of milk.
Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. With a whisk, gently fold them into the batter.
Brush the skillet, griddle or pan with ghee and heat over moderately high flame until hot but not smoking. Reduce the heat and add 2 to 4 fritters to cook at a time (the amount of batter that makes one fritter will depend on the size of your pan, I use the 1/4 cup scoop and fill it about half way). Working in batches cook the fritters until bubbles appear on the surface, the edges begin to crisp and they are golden on the underside, 45 seconds-1 minute. Then flip and wait until underside is golden and they are cooked through. Remove and keep stacked on a plate lined with paper towels. You can keep them in the oven to stay warm but they are best served right off the skillet with a dollop of mango chutney* on top.
As I stated earlier there are so many variations one could try here so be bold and experiment.
*You can of course buy mango chutney at the store but this one was made by my friend Marie and it was excellent. Chutneys are another fun thing to try making at home I will get the recipe from her and post it asap.

Curried Carrots

This is an excellent side dish especially right now as the carrots at local farmer's markets are so succulent and sweet!

1 lb carrots, any variety will work though the smaller are usually sweeter and more buttery in texture
1/4 cup ghee
1" piece of fresh ginger minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of cumin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the carrots length wise and cut them into 4ths (you could also slice them up into 1/4" rounds, not thinner or they will dry out in the oven)
Toss them with ghee (it will be perfectly soft if you keep it at room temperature) ginger, curry powder, salt and cumin. Cover with foil and put in oven to bake. Check and stir occasionally so that all the carrots are getting equally cooked. After about 20-25 min (could be longer depending on your oven) remove foil and continue to cook until carrots are tender enough to break with a fork and starting to caramelize around the edges.
Remove from oven and serve along side fish, meat or other veggies. We had it as one component of a veggie bowl with greens that had been sauteed in ghee and rice with mung (see past post on how to make this), it was delicious!

Monday, June 1, 2009

mung dal with rice and greens

This is a healthy, easy, satisfying meal that we eat often in our house.

First, soak the mung dal in water (preferably overnight but a couple of hours is good too). Strain off the water and put them in a pot with new water, enough to cover the mung by about 1/2"
Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and watch to make sure it doesn't boil over.
In the mean time prepare rice to your liking, our favorite is basmati.
Once the mung has begun to fall apart and the watered has been absorbed substantially it is done. You can adjust the consistency according to your liking, more water makes more of a stew and less makes more of a refried bean consistency. Serve the mung over the rice alongside your favorite steamed veggies (pictured here is steamed kale and cubed sweet potatoes).
Other interesting toppings that we often include are:
sliced avocados
slivered almonds
coconut flakes
nutritional yeast
soy sauce

Drizzle ghee over the top and enjoy!

easy pasta topping

this is a picture of pure delight!
wheat free ravioli filled with squash and cheese (purchased at our local farmer's market)
topped with black basil (also from farmer's market) that has been sauteed in ghee
add a little salt and pepper and you have an incredibly easy, unbelievably tasty summer meal.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

herbed eggs

This is an easy thing to do when scrambling or frying eggs. After you melt the ghee in your pan, add a handful of fresh, chopped herbs (basil, cilantro, sage or rosemary are all really tasty) fry until slightly crispy then crack your eggs on top and prepare according to your liking. You can also stir in cheese for an added flavor bonus, I like parmesan or soft chevre, for an added flavor. Serve with toast and side salad, an excellent sunday brunch.
*Ghee is key in this recipe because using butter or olive oil you wouldn't really be able to crisp the herbs without burning your fat.

Friday, May 15, 2009

on bagels

ghee is also enjoyed simply on bagels or toast. add a little drizzle of honey or smear of jam and you are really talking...

Here are few more ghee facts to digest while you enjoy your morning bagel.

-While Ghee does have cholesterol, it is not oxidized cholesterol. The cholesterol in ghee is an essential molecule needed by our brain, nerves and tissues.

-When cooking most unsaturated and saturated oils, peroxides, free radicals and trans fats are formed. All are linked to serious chronic health conditions. Ghee has a more stable saturated bond (i.e it lacks the double bonds that are easily damaged by the heat of cooking) therefore, it does not form dangerous free radicals or become a trans-fat when cooking. It is the most stable of all oils to cook with.

-Ghee has short chain fatty acids that are metabolized very readily by the body.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Squash and Arugula Pasta

This is a recipe where I use ghee in combination with olive oil. It's an everyday favorite that is easy to whip up and serve on a whim.


1 cup peeled and chopped butternut squash or sweet potato or winter squash, they all work
1 tablespoon ghee
1 medium onion
1 bushel arugula
1 1/2 cups dried pasta of your choice, we love using non-traditional kinds like farro, spelt and rice flour pasta
olive oil for dressing
Pecorino or Parmiggiano for shaving on top
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare pasta according to directions.
Meanwhile melt the ghee in a medium sauce pan. Add chopped onions and saute until tender about 3 minutes. Add the chopped squash and reduce heat slightly. Cook until squash is tender (cover if it starts to get too brown, as trapping the moisture will allow it to continue cooking without burning). Once the squash is close to done, throw in the arugula and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and combine with drained pasta. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper then grate the cheese over the top. Serve warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ghee Sweets

Ghee is very good for savory dishes but it can also be ideal for sweets. This past weekend for a birthday celebration we had two incredible treats, mini chocolate chip cookies and decadent flourless chocolate cake, both made with ghee...henceforth the recipes...

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies


5 tbsp ghee
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat together the ghee, sugar salt and baking soda in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add the flour and mix gently until fully integrated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon tiny rounds (the size of a quarter) on un-greased cookie sheets, about 1" apart. Bake 6-7 minutes or until carefully because they burn easily being so tiny. Transfer to racks and let cool...enjoy!

*the key to the true deliciousness of these babies is the teeny tiny size, so really stick to spoonfuls of batter no bigger than a quarter.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

8 oz. good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp ghee
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , plus a bit more for dusting

* Special equipment, 10" springform pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make sure a rack is placed in the middle.
Melt chocolate with ghee in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir consistently until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each one. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into pan. bake until top has formed a thin crust and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking, 30-45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack for about 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan. Invert cake onto a plate and then immediately re-invert onto rack to cool completely.
Dust cake with extra cocoa powder before serving...very tasty with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and berries

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Asparagus

One of the best ways to use ghee is on simply steamed vegetables. In this case I used a beautiful bunch of small stemmed asparagus from our local farmer's market.

Remove tough part of the stems (usually about 1 1/2" at the bottom)
Steam asparagus to desired tenderness
Toss with ghee, lemon juice and sea salt
Serve warm and enjoy!

Great as accompaniment to fish or served along side a dinner omelet

Monday, April 13, 2009

Squash Puree

*squash puree is shown here drizzled with a balsamic reduction-the acidity really compliments the buttery sweetness.

This is an easy, versatile recipe that delights both adults and children. It can be a side dish or the main event. Feel free to experiment with addind different herbs and spices, the squash is a great backdrop for a variety of flavors.

Squash Puree

1 Kabocha Squash or 1 Lg Butternut Squash (really you can use any variety that you fancy just make sure you have about 2 1/2 cups of chopped squash once you have peeled and de-seeded)
4-5 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp turmeric
1-2 leaves fresh sage or 1 tsp dried
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.
Peel, de-ssed and chop squash into 1 inch pieces. Place in a shallow baking dish along with the rest of the ingredients, dispersing the tablespoons of ghee evenly over the top. Pour about a quarter cup of water or vegetable stock over the squash and cover the dish with foil. Bake for about 1 hr, checking occasionally to make sure it's not burning or drying out to much, add water as needed. Once you can stick a fork easily through a piece of squash they are finished baking. Remove from oven and puree using a blender or food processor. Check for seasoning and adjust to your taste. Stir in extra ghee if the puree seems a bit dry then serve over rice and steamed greens or enjoy as is.

*other spice/herb suggestions-simply replace the turmeric and/or sage with any one of these or a combination.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chard & Onion Torta

This is a fantastic recipe adapted from Deborah Madison's cookbook Vegetarian Suppers. My favorite time to serve it is brunch though it most certainly works for lunch and dinner too...

4 tbsp ghee,
1 cup bread crumbs made in the food processor (don't make them fine, you want a variation in texture and larger chunks)
1 large yellow or white onion
2 pinches of saffron threads
1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried
2 big bunches of chard, leaves sliced from stems and chopped into 1" pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup Gruyere cheese
1/4 freshly grated Parmesan plus a bit more for the top
3 eggs
1 cup milk or light cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix 2 tbsp ghee with the bread crumbs in a bowl with your hands then press them into a baking dish, filling the bottom and coming up slightly on the sides. If you have any extra bread crumbs keep them to add later.
Heat the other 2 tbsp of ghee in a heavy skillet on low-medium. Add the onion garlic and saffron threads. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize on the edges.
Add the chard and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until the chard is tender and wilted about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in any extra breadcrumbs. Add the cheese, eggs, cream and black pepper. Once all ingredients are combined, transfer to the baking dish and grate a little extra Parmesan over the top. Bake until golden and nearly firm throughout. It should take about 30 minutes, just be sure the eggs are set before removing from the oven.
Remove and let sit for several minutes before serving.

It's delicious accompanied by a beet salad with goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Balsamic Fried Eggs

These are a little more exciting than plain old fried eggs with the richness of ghee and the tang of Balsamic, it's hard to go back to the original.

Simply use ghee in place of butter when frying your eggs. Once the whites have cooked through but the yolk is still raw and very yellow, add a splash of balsamic and place a lid over the pan momentarily. This will cause the white over the yolk to cook through. Remove lid and let the vinegar caramelize slightly before turning off the heat, removing from pan and devouring over your favorite toast!

Sweet Potato Curry

Ghee is a wonderful addition to the tail end of many recipes. Stirring it in to soups, stews, veggies etc. This curry, however is made with ghee and finished with it as well and it's delicious!

Sweet Potato Curry

1 medium size onion, yellow or white, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 coriander
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
2-4 whole peppercorns
2 tbsp ghee + more to finish
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
1 cup split mung dal (this is my favorite variety of dal but others will work as well)
cilantro for garnish

Begin by melting the 2 tbsp. ghee and 1 tbsp coconut oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add the onion and reduce heat slightly. Cook until translucent and softened, they can be slightly brown on the edges but you don't want them to get crisp. Add the garlic and spices and let cook for another few minutes until most of the ghee and coconut oil has been absorbed. Add the dal, stirring to coat in the onion/ghee mixture. Let toast for 2 minutes, stirring frequently so the dal doesn't burn. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the sweet potatoes and salt then reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally. Let cook for about 30 min or until the sweet potatoes begin to fall apart and the dal is fully cooked. You may need to add more water as you go depending on how your stove cooks, you want it to be the consistency of a thick stew. Once finished stir in a bit more ghee and serve over basmati or brown rice with chopped cilantro on top. It's also lovely served with many kinds of flat bread (ie naan, lavash, whole wheat tortillas). Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oatmeal & Ghee

Stirring Ghee into oatmeal is one of my very favorite applications...My infant daughter also really enjoys it, so we have been having a lot of mother-daughter mornings lately, savoring our warm porridge as the sun starts to rise and makes its way through the doors in the kitchen...

My Favorite Ghee Oatmeal
Serves 2

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
Ghee to your taste
unsweetened coconut flakes
sprinkle of cinnamon
drizzle of maple syrup
handful of raisins
sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
sliced bananas and anything else you might fancy as a topping.

Bring the oats and water to a boil on medium high heat, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until oats have turned to mush. Check often and stir occasionally to avoid having it boil over. When desired consistency has been reached, remove from heat, stir in Ghee and add toppings...Enjoy one delicious bite at a time!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Few Basics

These are just a few snippets to get your interest, I will keep the facts coming...

-Ghee is made from butter that is boiled to remove all the moisture and lactose.
In the case of Ancient Organics it's butter from the Straus Creamery which is a premium product for all of you who haven't tried it.

-Ghee can be kept at room temperature and has a virtually infinite shelf life. It is ideal to have it stored in a cool, dark place as you would olive oil. Make sure to use a clean utensil as any crumbs or debris left behind in the jar will mold if kept unrefrigerated. You can refrigerate it if you prefer but it will become more dense to scoop from the jar. If you are like us and you accidentally leave a crumb behind, you will go through it so fast there won't be any time for mold to even think about growing.

-Ghee has one of the highest flash points of any oil. This means that you can take it to a very high temperature without the substance turning into an indigestible transfat. This makes it ideal for sauteing, frying etc.

What about Olive Oil?

Keep in mind I am half Lebanese and my mother (grandmother and aunts) are all phenomenal cooks so I basically grew up drinking olive oil. Don't get me wrong I still love the stuff but it's more suited to dressing things with than cooking in. I have switched to cooking primarily in Ghee but also create many dishes where the content is steamed and then tossed in olive oil. You can also marry the two in a lovely relationship. Lightly saute your veggies in a little bit of ghee, then dress them with a small amount of olive oil after for flavor.

This morning I scrambled some farm fresh eggs in ghee and then spread a little bit more on my spelt toast...divine!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ghee Waffles


Try these doused in real maple syrup for a delicious Saturday morning treat!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp.baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup ghee (room temperature)
2 cups milk (you can also use buttermilk for a richer batter)

ghee for greasing the grid of your iron

Preheat the waffle iron as per the manufacturer's instructions.
In a large bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, using a whisk or an electric mixture beat the egg yolks, ghee and milk until foamy.
In a small bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold the egg whites in gently until no white streaks can be seen.

Brush the waffle iron with ghee and pour about a cup of batter for each waffle.
Close the iron and bake according to instructions.
Remove, drench in maple syrup that has been warmed with a dollop of ghee and ENJOY!