Serves 6

A classic quick Italian recipe, this could be done with any poultry breast. Veal Picata, done similarly, was one of the most famous dishes in Italian restaurants from the 1960’s. Unscrupulous chefs and restaurant owners sometimes substituted inexpensive turkey breast for expensive veal since the two are so similar when cooked. We don’t see veal picata so much now since this meat became controversial because of husbandry practices a few years back.

2 1/2 pounds or so skinned turkey breast, sliced into 6 cutlets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cover the cutlets with a piece of plastic wrap and, using a meat pounder or the bottom of a heavy small skillet or sauce pan, flatten each to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle the turkey on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge each cutlet in the flour and shake off any excess.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the foaming subsides, add the turkey and cook until golden brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. When done, remove the turkey cutlets from the pan, sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, and set aside on a plate.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice, capers and chives, scraping up any brown bits and pieces left on the bottom. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

Return the turkey to the pan along with any juices, place over medium heat, and warm gently for 30 seconds or so. Place cutlets on a warm serving platter and top with the sauce and parsley and serve immediately.




Serves 4

Avgolemono is a traditional sauce in Greece made of lemon and egg. It requires some attention to make because the acid from the lemons as well as the heat can cause the eggs to curdle.

3 large lemons
5 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup long grain rice
1 large egg
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Zest and juice 1 lemon. Add to a soup pot with the stock, oregano, salt and pepper, carrot, celery and rice and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables and rice are tender. Remove from heat and allow soup to cool for 5 minutes.

Whisk egg in a small bowl then beat in the juice of 1 lemon. Gradually beat in 2 cups of soup liquid, being careful not to overheat and curdle the eggs.

Return soup to medium-low heat and whisk in egg mixture. Continue cooking, being careful not to boil, until soup is somewhat thickened and creamy. Stir in mint and serve immediately with remaining lemon cut into wedges for guests to squeeze in.




Yields three 5-3/4 x 3-1/4 x 2 inch loaves or one 9-1/2 x 3-3/4 x 3 inch loaf

This is one of my favorite simple breads that my Grandmother taught me to make when I was a little kid and just learning to cook. It perfect for the late fall and winter when citrus is at its best. This is also nice sliced and topped with lightly sweetened berries or other fruits. Also great in the morning sliced and toasted.

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons each grated lemon and lime zests
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk

For the glaze: 1/4 cup each fresh lemon and lime juice
1/2 cup sugar

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. With a mixer cream the butter, sugar, zests and vanilla together until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the buttermilk and beat in. Finally, add the flour mixture and beat until the mixture is just combined. Do not overbeat.

Divide the batter among three small, buttered loaf pans and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using one large loaf pan, bake 55 – 60 minutes.

While breads are baking, combine the juices and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Keep warm.

When breads are done poke the tops all over with a toothpick and brush with some of the glaze. Cool breads on a rack for 5 minutes then turn out and poke bottoms and sides of bread all over. Brush with remaining glaze. Cool breads completely right side up.

Wrap in plastic and store refrigerated for up to 10 days or overwrap in foil and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Makes 12 scones

Grated zest and juice of one large orange
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter cut into 1/4 inch bits
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Mix the zest, flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt together in a large bowl. With a pastry cutter (or in a food processor) quickly cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add eggs, 1 cup cream and juice and stir until well blended.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for one minute. Divide the dough into two pieces and pat each into a 8 inch circle. Cut each piece into 6 wedges. Brush each with remaining 2 tablespoons cream and dust with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Place wedges on a lightly buttered pr parchment (or silicon mat) lined baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.



Serves 8

1 cup stone ground cornmeal (or 3/4 cup cornmeal plus 1/4 cup polenta)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil (plus 1 tablespoon for pan)
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1-1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh raspberries
Rosemary Syrup (recipe follows)

Garnish: Lightly whipped unsweetened cream and rosemary sprigs.

Line bottom of a 8 inch cake pan with parchment or wax paper and lightly oil. Sift cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat sugar, eggs and egg whites together until creamy. Beat in oil, butter, yogurt, lemon zest and juice until smooth. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix .

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool for 15 minutes on a rack. Invert, peel off paper and cool completely.

Store wrapped in plastic in refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for one month.

To serve: Cut cake into wedges and place on plates, scatter raspberries around and drizzle a tablespoon or two of rosemary syrup over berries. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Rosemary Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons rosemary leaves
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
3 tablespoons fine balsamic vinegar

Place all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool, strain and store refrigerated.




Serves 12 – 14

This is a terrific cake as is or as a foil for fresh fruits. The recipe makes one large 10 inch tube cake or two 9×5 inch loaf size cakes. Wrap the cake in plastic after glazing and allow it to sit for a day to allow flavors to penetrate and develop. Store at room temperature up to 3 days.

12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup buttermilk


1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 10 inch tube pan. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, combine the butter with 3 cups of the sugar and beat at high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Beat the flour mixture into the butter in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 20 seconds after each addition. Continue to beat for 1 minute longer after all the buttermilk and flour have been added.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a metal cake tester or a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the lemon glaze: In a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the lemon juice with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Cook over moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

As soon as the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire cake rack set over a baking sheet. With a thin toothpick, pierce through the cake in several places. Brush with half of the warm lemon glaze. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then free the sides of the cake from the pan with a thin, sharp knife. Invert the cake onto a large plate or platter, then brush the top and sides with the remaining glaze. Cool to room temperature.




Serves 8-10

This is a lovely (and rich) classical dessert that features my favorite citrus — lemon. Charlotte refers to the straight-sided baking dish that has vertical ridges on the outside that is indispensable for making soufflés as well as this recipe. To save time you can buy ladyfingers called for here but your own homemade (like most things) are better.

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated blanched and lightly toasted almonds
24 ladyfingers, purchased or homemade (recipe follows)
Garnish: Fresh raspberry sauce and lightly whipped cream

In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest, water, eggs and salt and beat until well combined. Place pan over moderate heat and, stirring constantly, bring it just to the boil and mixture thickens. Off heat and cool.

With an electric mixer fitted with a whip, cream the butter. Add the lemon mixture a little at a time and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in the almonds.

Line the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart charlotte dish with buttered parchment or wax paper. Line the sides of the dish with the ladyfingers, cutting them if necessary to fill in any gaps. Fill the dish halfway with the lemon mixture and cover with more ladyfingers again cutting to fill in any gaps. Fill with remaining lemon mixture and cover top with ladyfingers in the same manner. Trim any ladyfingers extending above the top of the dish and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Place a serving plate over top of dish and invert. Remove parchment and carefully cut into wedges. Serve with fresh raspberry sauce and lightly whipped cream if desired.

Makes approximately 24

3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) sugar, superfine preferred
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon each grated lemon zest and vanilla extract
Pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of sugar until mixture ribbons when paddle is lifted. Combine the flour and cornstarch and sift over the yolk mixture in batches, folding in each batch before adding the next. Fold in the zest and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over and beat until they hold soft peaks. Fold one fourth of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining whites gently being careful not to deflate whites.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag with a medium plain tip and pipe it out onto a parchment lined baking sheet in 4-inch lengths, 2 inches apart. Sift confectioners sugar over ladyfingers and then tilt and rap sheet to remove excess sugar. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 15 minutes or until very lightly colored. Transfer to a rack and let them cool. Store airtight for up to 3 days or in freezer for 1 month.




Serves 20

1-1/2 cups skinned and chopped hazelnuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch Kosher salt
2 tablespoons soft butter
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur

In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a mixing bowl, combine the hazelnuts, flour, sugar, baking powder, the baking soda and the butter. With the paddle attachment or a large wooden spatula, mix the ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, the egg yolk, the lemon zest, and the Frangelico. Beat the egg mixture together. Add the egg mixture to the flour. Using the paddle attachment, or the wooden spatula, stir until combined to make a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for approximately 1 minute. With floured hands, roll the dough into a log 2 inches in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten the log slightly with the palm of your hand. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the log begins to brown and is slightly firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let the biscotti cool for 1/2 hour.

Cut the biscotti into 1/2 inch diagonal slices, giving them their typical shape. Place the biscotti on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them back into the 350 degree oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer until firm and a light brown color. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. These may be kept in an airtight container for up to a month.




Serves 6

Crepes are just thin pancakes and are very easy to make. If you’ve ever traveled in France, they serve them in street stalls simply brushed with butter and jam with a little liqueur splashed on. Among their advantages are that they utilize ingredients that are generally available in most kitchens: flour, butter, eggs and milk. You can also fill them with anything including your favorite fresh fruits simply sliced and sweetened. You can make the crepes ahead and they freeze wonderfully – – so make a double batch and then you can put together an elegant dessert in just a few minutes. Crepes are also great for quick savory fillings such as creamy seafood, chicken or mushrooms. You can use the same batter below but leave out the sugar. The curd recipe below makes more than you’ll need for this recipe but now you’ll have some on hand to spread on scones, etc.!

For the Crepes
Makes 12 – 14 crepes

3 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1-1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

Place all ingredients except vegetable oil in a blender and blend until smooth scraping container if necessary to incorporate all ingredients. Allow to sit if possible for 30 minutes before using (this allows the flour to absorb all the liquid).

Warm a crepe pan or regular non-stick frying pan (6 – 8 inches in diameter) over moderately high heat. Add a drop or two of the vegetable oil and swirl the pan to coat. Pour a little less than a quarter cup of the batter into the hot pan and immediately tilt it around to completely coat the bottom. If heat is correct the crepe will set almost at once forming tiny bubbles. If not then increase heat slightly. Usually it takes one or two crepes to find the right balance.

Cook until the edges are lightly browned and the surface looks dry, about 1 minute. Slide a spatula underneath the crepe and flip it over to lightly brown the other side, about 10 seconds. Tip crepe over onto a plate and repeat process, stacking them up as you finish them.

As noted above, crepes freeze well. To freeze place a piece of waxed paper in between each crepe and then stack them up. Wrap well in heavy foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

For the Lemon Curd
Makes about 3 cups

1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut in small bits
1 tablespoon finely grated zest

Whisk first six ingredients together and strain. Place mixture in a stainless steel bowl over (not on) simmering water and whisk in butter and zest. Continue whisking until mixture thickens, 5 – 7 minutes. Off heat, whisk for a minute more to cool slightly and then place in sterilized jars. Cover and store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

For the Blueberry Sauce
Makes about 1-1/2 cups

3 cups fresh or frozen IQF blueberries
1/3 cup powdered sugar, or to taste
3 tablespoons red wine or water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Add all to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally until berries are soft but still hold most of their shape. Serve warm or cold. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To serve: Lay crepes slightly apart on a clean counter, pale side up. Place 2 tablespoons or so of the curd on the bottom half of each crepe. Fold top half over to make a half moon and then fold once more to make a triangle and enclose the filling. Place in a single layer on a lightly buttered baking sheet and warm crepes through in a preheated 350-degree oven, 8 – 10 minutes. Arrange 2 filled crepes on each plate, spoon sauce over and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.




Serves 6

Zabaglione (Italian) or Sabayon (French) is a simple but delicious dessert that can be made at the very last minute which I like best since its still warm. It’s like a soufflé without the dish. I serve it with fresh fruits either just spooned on the side or for a more dramatic presentation arranging the fresh fruits in a shallow bowl, spooning the zabaglione on top and quickly browning it with a propane torch or under a hot broiler.

2 large whole eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 2 medium lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup white port, Muscat, Sauternes or other sweet dessert wine

In the top of a double boiler combine all the ingredients and whisk until the mixture is light and thick. Place over simmering water and whisk vigorously until mixture has tripled in volume and is thick and light in color. Total cooking and whisking time will be 6 – 8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk to cool slightly to keep the egg yolks from scrambling. Use immediately or set aside and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Use within 2 hours.



Makes 1-1/2 cups

1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup tangerine juice, strained
1-3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon

Mix tangerine juice and cream and heat until just before boiling, keep warm.

Combine the sugar with the water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and increase heat to maintain simmer. Do not stir but wash down any sugar crystals clinging to side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Watch pan carefully, swirling it from time to time until syrup turns golden brown.

Off heat and whisk in cream-tangerine mixture in a steady stream. Mixture will bubble dramatically so stir carefully. Whisk in butter by bits until completely combined. Stir in vanilla, salt and brandy or bourbon to taste.

Store indefinitely covered in the refrigerator. Serve warm or cold.


John Ash © 2014