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Caroline Fleming Culture Food & Drink

Happy Cooking with Danish Baroness and British Reality Star Caroline Fleming

Simply by scanning tabloid and celebrity magazine covers, it’s easy to identify which occupations are most likely to place one in the paparazzi’s firing line. On the heels of being a young actress or supermodel, being a royal or a reality television star also attracts ample publication fascination and the photographer’s lens. Danish baroness and Ladies of London (it’s dishy!) television star Caroline Fleming has that perfecta. But she distinguishes herself by her purpose. The cheery blonde is a devoted mother and wellness enthusiast, whose new book, Cook Yourself Happy, contains traditional Danish dishes reinterpreted through her positivity, love of family, travels and health consciousness.

Caroline took the time to chat with us about her book and real life. Like her yummy recipes, the baroness is both refreshingly approachable and honest. Plus she has some great ideas for your holiday meal!

READ THE INTERVIEW

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Food & Drink

What’s Cooking: White Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Berries

Introducing our newest feature: What’s Cooking. Get ready for delicious, seasonal recipes from our four Nordstrom cookbooks, including beloved dishes from our restaurants and other original, simple-to-follow recipes developed by our corporate chef, Michael Northern, and his small army of chefs and contributors.

Nordstrom Blog Editor Jeff will be taking you into the kitchen as he brings home what’s fresh in Seattle to create a dish and prove (with his photographic evidence) that you don’t have to be a professional chef to transform beautiful ingredients into irresistible food meant to be shared with family and friends.

Best white chocolate mousse recipe with berries from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell

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It’s been one of the most amazing summers I can remember here in Seattle, and I like to celebrate such gorgeous weather by snatching up the berries we have at the Broadway Farmers Market. The first few recipes we’ll be sharing are perfect for showcasing these plump little juice-bombs. First up: raspberries—though this mousse plays well with any summer berry that makes you happy.

White Chocolate Mousse with Summer Berries

(Makes 8 Servings)

For me, hot and sunny days call for a light-feeling dessert, especially one like this that doesn’t require turning on the oven—just a barely lit stove with enough heat to melt some luscious white chocolate. For such a straightforward recipe with so few components, the resulting airy texture of this rich and velvety dessert seems almost unbelievable. As always, but especially here, quality ingredients are key.

From the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook: 

“Not that there is anything wrong with dark chocolate mousse (you can use bittersweet chocolate to replace the white chocolate in this recipe), but the mousse’s silky texture and pristine color is irresistible. When purchasing white chocolate, be sure the ingredients include cocoa butter. Tangy fresh berries balance the mousse’s sweetness.” –Marcus Matusky, contributing chef

Ingredients:
1¼ cups heavy cream
8 ounces high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs, separated*
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
4 cups assorted fresh berries, such as raspberries and blueberries
White chocolate curls

1. Pour ¼ inch water into a medium skillet and bring to a bare simmer over low heat. Pour ¼ cup of the heavy cream into a heatproof small bowl. Add the white chocolate. Place the bowl in the skillet and turn off the heat. Let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool slightly.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow and thickened. Gradually whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Let stand, stirring often, until tepid, about 10 minutes. (If the mixture is too warm, it will melt the whipped cream in the next step.)

3. Beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream in a chilled medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir one-quarter of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture to lighten its texture. Fold in the remaining cream.

4. Using clean beaters, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whip just until the peaks are stiff and shiny. Stir one-quarter of the beaten egg whites into the white chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.

5. Divide the mousse among 8 individual bowls or wine glasses. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Garnish with berries and white chocolate curls; serve chilled.

To make chocolate curls, let a chunk of chocolate (at least 6 ounces) stand in a warm place in the kitchen for about 1 hour. Working over a plate, use a vegetable peeler to shave curls from the chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm the curls before using.

Editor’s Note. I confess: No doubt some of you eagle-eyed readers have noticed my lack of a white-chocolate-curl garnish on the final martini glass presentation. After I finished all the whisking and beating, I noticed the extra chocolate I reserved had vanished. Into my mouth. I’ll just call it “overzealous quality control.” In a culinary make-it-work moment, a sprig of mint seemed like a classic, colorful substitution to complement those ruby-red raspberries.

The best part about making this mousse was watching the looks of near delirium on my friends’ faces as they relished their first spoonful. The combination of voluminous, silky sweetness and fat little berries at the height of freshness made for a dessert that’s nothing less than summertime perfection. I love how elegant it looks and tastes.

Download a PDF of this recipe to print, or find it in our Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook. Have a favorite recipe from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

[Photos by Jeff Powell]

*This recipe contains under-cooked eggs, which have been known to carry the potentially harmful salmonella bacterium. Do not serve to the very young or elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

Best white chocolate mousse recipe with berries from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell

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Food & Drink

Food & Drink: White Chocolate & Raspberry Pancakes

So, you’ve found the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Now, make her day even more special: surprise mom with brunch and a stack of these indulgent white chocolate and raspberry pancakes—a recipe from our Nordstrom Flavors Cookbook (available upon request at Nordstrom Restaurant locations).

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Photo by Noel Barnhurst

If you’ve ever had White Chocolate Bread Pudding, one of the most popular desserts at Nordstrom’s Cafe Bistro restaurants, you’ll be familiar with the flavor combination celebrated in these decadent pancakes. —Chef Michael Northern

White Chocolate & Raspberry Brunch Pancakes

Serves 4
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the griddle
1 pint raspberries
1 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate morsels
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel, and have a few more towels ready.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and butter, and pour the mixture into the well. Stir just until blended but still slightly lumpy. If the batter seems too thick, thin with a little water.

Heat a griddle or large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until very hot. A few drops of cold water splashed on the bottom should dance across the surface. Lightly grease the griddle with butter. Using 1 ⁄3 cup batter for each pancake, pour the batter onto the griddle, creating pancakes about 4 inches in diameter and being careful not to crowd the griddle. Cook until bubbles just begin to appear on the surface, about 11 ⁄2 minutes. Scatter about 4 raspberries and 7 white chocolate morsels over the top of each pancake. Cook until the pancakes are golden brown on the undersides, about 1 minute more. Turn the pancakes over and cook until the second sides are lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to the baking sheet, cover with a towel, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, raspberries, and chocolate morsels, separating the layers of pancakes with the towels.

Arrange the pancakes on warmed plates, and scatter the remaining raspberries and chocolate morsels on top. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust with powdered sugar, and then serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: Pancakes are always best when served the moment they are out of the pan. If your gathering is small, you may be able to cook them to order.

Download a PDF of this recipe to print. And for more tempting recipes, shop our Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook.

Jeff Powell

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Food & Drink

Rock Stars in the Kitchen

Good thing summer’s still here, because we just discovered the ultimate beach read. Get a load of Rock ‘n’ Roll Cuisine, a 1988 cookbook full of handwritten recipes from musical legends like Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger and Ozzy Osbourne. It doesn’t get much more delicious than this. We’ve pulled a few excerpts:

Kathy Valentine of girl group The Go-Go’s makes a mean stuffed jalapeño. But don’t try this recipe if you’re watching your waistline—it’s heavy on the Velveeta.

Ann Wilson of Heart took her “recipe” one step further and whipped up a one-act play. It’s actually quite hilarious and gives a glimpse into life on the road. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Mick Jagger loves him some shrimp curry. And wow, that’s a lot of condiments. Pass us the peanuts, please.

If you’re not into shrimp, Ozzy Osbourne’s chicken curry might do the trick—though we’re confused about all the fruit in his recipe…is that normal for curry?

That’s quite the drawing, Mr. Osbourne, but Sting’s artwork takes the cake. He whipped up an entire comic strip, taking us step-by-step through the making of his fusilli & zucchini dish. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Mmm…we’re hungry! What’s on your summer reading list? If you’re looking for more ideas, we’ve got oodles of cookbooks to help you make your own rock ‘n’ roll specialty.

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Food & Drink

Our Chicken Paillard on The Moveable Feasts

We’ve shared a few recipes with you here on The Thread from our Nordstrom cookbooks before, but this marks the first time someone has given us their spin on one of our own recipes—and we couldn’t be happier!

Amy, a self-described student and “not exactly exceptional cook” (could have fooled us!), recently blogged about her adaptation of chicken paillard from our Entertaining at Home Cookbook. The results looked so mouthwatering, we just had to share.

On her blog, The Moveable Feasts, Amy writes, “What the dish ends up being is basically a mess of crisp-tender vegetables and lettuces like asparagus, snap peas and red bell pepper piled on top of some quick pan-fried chicken that’s seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and whole-grain mustard. To finish, it’s dressed with a light Dijon-tarragon vinaigrette, and the whole thing ends up tasting pretty awesome.”

Did we mention mouthwatering? Amy told us, “Nordstrom’s cookbooks are honestly some of my favorite to turn to.” We blush. Keep up the delicious work, Amy!

Images: Courtesy of The Moveable Feasts

Jeff Powell

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Food & Drink

Market Fresh: Grilled Asparagus & Lemon Salt

Last weekend marked the opening of a handful of  farmers’ markets here in Seattle. Since it was also the first time this year the thermometer reached above 70°F in the Emerald City, it would have been a shame not to get outdoors and enjoy a little vitamin D while browsing what our local farmers had on hand.

Photo by Jeff Powell

Asparagus was everywhere at Broadway Market—April being the prime month in its growing season. We couldn’t be happier. We saw these delicious-looking bundles and couldn’t resist snatching them up; we’ve had our eye on the Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Salt recipe from the Nordstrom Flavors cookbook.

What could be better to celebrate the season than fresh, local ingredients prepared simply to highlight at-their-peak flavors? It was the perfect accompaniment to a light dinner with friends under the sun, so why not share the love?

Here is chef Michael Northern’s recipe for Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Salt (available for download as a PDF to print or save) from our Nordstrom Flavors cookbook, available in stores.

A delicious, simple recipe for how to cook asparagus from Nordstrom.
Photo: Noel Barnhurst

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Salt
Serves 4
1 pound not-too-thin asparagus
1 lemon
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill on medium.

Snap off the woody stem ends from the asparagus. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the stalks to within about 4 inches of the tips.

Grate the zest from the lemon into a small bowl. Add the salt to the zest, and rub together with your fingers until combined. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a separate bowl.

In a shallow dish, toss the asparagus with the lemon juice, and then with the oil. Place the spears on the grill, arranging them perpendicular to the grid so they don’t fall through. Grill until you see marks seared on the undersides of the asparagus, about 2 minutes. Roll the asparagus over and grill until the second sides are seared and the spears are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes more.

Using a spatula, transfer the asparagus to a platter. Sprinkle with the lemon salt and season with pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Jeff Powell

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