Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Corner Table

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul Gauche on October 3, 2012

Corner Table

4257 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55409-2014 (612) 823-0011 Getting There From the North Take 35 W South to 46th Street. Turn right at East 46th Street. Turn right at Nicollet Ave South. From the South Take 35W N to 46th Street. Turn left at East 46th Street. Turn right at Nicollet Ave South.

Hours: Tue.-Thu.: 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat.: 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

Cuisine: American Contemporary

Reservations: Recommended. Reservations must be made by phone.

Alcohol: Beer and Wine

Payment Methods: Cash and Major Credit Cards


Sweet Corn Chowder

Posted in Soups, Stews & Gumbos by Paul Gauche on August 14, 2012

Photo Credit Todd Coleman for Saveur Magazine

While it’s not quite Fall and the official start of the hot soup season is still weeks, perhaps months away, this recipe for Sweet Corn Chowder is a great foretaste of the feast to come! Late summer sweet corn is showing up everywhere—from grocery stores to farmers’ produce stands; from big-box store parking lots to my own driveway. Last week two large boxes of sweet corn showed up—dozens at a time.  What a thrill to eat corn this good!

So, give this a shot. Make a lot and freeze some for later. You’ll know right when to pull this out… in the midst of that first snow fall!

Ingredients ~

  • 5 cloves garlic, divided
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups pumpernickel bread, cut into ¾” cubes
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 ribs celery, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 8 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk

Method ~

Heat oven to 325°. Put 1 clove garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Using a knife, mince and scrape garlic against cutting board to form a paste. Transfer garlic paste to a large bowl and whisk in oil. Add pumpernickel cubes, season with salt, pepper, and paprika, and toss to coat; transfer to a baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until toasted, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan; toss to coat evenly and set aside to cool.

Heat butter in a 6-qt. pot over medium heat. Mince remaining garlic and add to pot along with celery and onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, partially covered and stirring often, until vegetables are soft but not browned, 16–18 minutes. Add corn and curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is soft and fragrant, 18–20 minutes. Vigorously stir in flour, then add chicken stock, half-and-half, and milk; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, about 10 minutes. To serve, divide soup between serving bowls and top with croutons.

Serves 6-8

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapa

Posted in Appetizers & Hors d'œuvres by Paul Gauche on April 30, 2012

Ingredients ~

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound chorizo, sliced on the diagonal into ¼ inch slices
  • 12 raw, medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley leaves, minced
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Method ~

In a large (12-14”) skillet, heat 1 to 2 Tablespoon of the olive oil, sauté the sliced chorizo until it begins to brown around the edges, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the skillet.

Add the onion and sauté’ until they are caramelized around the edges and softened somewhat, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add ¼ cup of the sherry to deglaze the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chorizo, the remaining ¼ cup of sherry and ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and remainder of the salt and pepper; stir to combine and remove from the heat.

Serve with toasted garlic: slice garlic thin, place on a cold sauté pan with olive oil to cover the bottom. Bring up the heat on the pan and toast until brown, then remove at once. Reserve the oil for cooking or on a salad.

Serve immediately, on small plates with any accumulated cooking juices spooned over the top. Pass the bread at the table.

~ With many thanks to Chef Ray Remler, Rivertown Inn Bed & Breakfast, Stillwater, MN

Fruit Soup

Ingredients ~

  • 1 cup pitted, dried prunes+
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup dried apricots
  • water to cover (about 3 cups)
  • ¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup apple cider++
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar to taste+++
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • whipped cream, plain or vanilla yogurt

Method ~

Combine prunes, raisins, and apricots in a 3-quart saucepan. Add water to cover, about 3 cups. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the tapioca and simmer for 10 minutes while mixture thickens. When the fruit is softened, add the cooked, thickened tapioca, lemon juice. Apple cider, vinegar, sugar and the cinnamon stick. This mixture will thicken as it cools. If the soup seems a little thick, you can add more water or cider to adjust both the consistency and the taste. Serve either hot or cold, garnishing with a dollop of whipped cream, plain or vanilla yogurt.


+Different traditions as well as varying tastes may dictate the fruit you use. Variations include currants, golden raisins or any of the mixed fruit combinations. +Along with the prunes, raisins and apricots, I’ve used a mixture of fresh apples—½ each red, yellow and green apples. If you do this, you will need a little more than 3 cups of water to cover.

++You can also substitute pineapple juice for the apple cider.

+++Fruit naturally has sugar, so you’ll want to taste the soup before you add any sugar. That being understood, you may wish to adjust the ratio of sugar to lemon juice so as not to make this too sweet.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Posted in Cheesecakes,Desserts by Paul Gauche on November 11, 2011

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, I make a list of the things that simply must appear on the Thanksgiving table. That list, of course, includes all of the standards. But this year we’ll certainly be adding this pumpkin cheesecake to the festivities. Oh, my…

The first weekend in November brought me a couple of days to “play” in the kitchen; some time to try out some new things for Thanksgiving. I’d surveyed several recipes for pumpkin cheesecakes and decided the one from The Brown Eyed Baker looked most promising. I was especially curious about the crust made with ginger snaps since I’ve been known to cruise through most of a bag of those things with a glass of milk.

I prepared the cheesecake on Friday evening and then set in the refridgerator to ‘cure’. On Sunday afternoon around the table with severl friends, this pumpkin cheesecake made its appearance and did not dissapoint one little bit.

Silky. Smooth. Dense. Remarkable.

So give this a try. You may want to even try a test run on some friends and then preapre it again for Thanksgiving. It’s worth the effort–it’s that good! The only really tricky thing is making sure that you wrap the springform pan with foil effectively enough so that the water bath doesn’t seep into the crust. Take your time with that. And make sure you save enough gingersnaps to dunk in a glass of milk while you’re preaparing the crust. Whoa…

Ingredients for the Crust ~

  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about a 14-oz package of cookies, or less if you just want to dunk some into some milk while you’re preparing this treat)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the Cheesecake ~

  • 32 ounces cream chees, (4 packages) at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups (about a 15-oz can) canned pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Method ~

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy duty foil making sure the water bath to come will not seep into the pan. Take your time making sure you’ve done this well. Mix together the ingredients for the crust and press them into the bottom of the springform pan. A good way to do this is to take a drinking glass and using the bottom, lightly tap/pat the crust evenly into the pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Bring a pan of water to a boil for a water bath. Beat together the cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low until completely mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and mix on low to mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared crust. At this point you will firmly but carefully tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan into a larger pan (a roasting pan works really well for this) and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about halfway up the springform pan.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little. Do not open the oven door at any point in this process.

Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, carefully remove it from the water bath, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours. Once the pumpkin cheesecake is completely cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. It’s best to let it set overnight.

You may want to garnish with a light sprinkling of crushed ginger snaps. Serve and enjoy!

Baked Oatmeal

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul Gauche on May 14, 2011

In another posted recipe for Hard-Cooked Eggs from Heidi Swanson I wrote that if you weren’t following Heidi at or, that you are—most likely, missing something in the kitchen. Well, the addendum to that is simply this: if your library of cookbooks doesn’t include her newest cookbook, super natural every day, then your library is incomplete.

Our daughter, Sarah, and herhusband, Travis gave me this cookbook for my most recent birthday. Along with that came the rhetorical question, “Does Dad really need another cookbook?” to which I responded (and always respond) “You can’t have too many cookbooks.”

I have a lot of cookbooks, indeed. But never, ever have I read through an entire cookbook from beginning to end—until Heidi’s volume arrived. Not only that, but perhaps the most telling indicator of how great a collection this is, is that while Heidi is a vegetarian, and I am not, and there isn’t one recipe in this cookbook that includes any meat at all, I never once noticed or even missed that.

This is a fabulous collection of recipes that are completely accessible. You know how lame it is when you want to try out a new recipe and it calls for a teaspoon and a half of some ingredient you can’t even pronounce and when you find it at the store it costs an arm and a leg for 7 times as much as you need? Not so with Heidi’s new book. As I read each recipe—one after the next, I thought, “Sure, I can do that, no problem.”

The recipe for Baked Oatmeal is fabulous and I’ve proved it two Saturdays’ in a row. The first time I prepared it I cut the recipe in half. Nancy Lee and I ate just about one-third of the 8×8 baking dish. When our son, Soren came into the kitchen he asked what it was. After explaining it to him, he ventured into it with a small bowl and some cream. Thirty minutes later the dish was empty and he was hoping I didn’t want any more because he “cleaned it up.”

The second time I prepared the recipe, I halved it again and adjusted several other things: along with the bananas on the bottom, I mixed in fresh blueberries and cut fresh strawberries. I also doubled the toasted walnuts as well as the vanilla. It’s difficult to halve an egg, so I just went with the whole egg. I didn’t drizzle any of the butter on top, nor did I add more sugar or syrup before serving. No problem.

No matter how you finish off this recipe, you’ll finish off the dish.

Here we go…

Baked Oatmeal (from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar or maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Scant ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups huckleberries, blueberries, or mixed berries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the sugar, if using, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, if using, the milk, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple thwacks on the countertop to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and remaining walnuts across the top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar or drizzle with maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter.

Serves 6 generously, or 12 as part of a larger brunch spread.

Hard-Cooked Eggs

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul Gauche on May 1, 2011

If you’re not following Heidi Swanson at or, I’d have to say you’re missing something. She’s a fabulous cook with page after blog after cookbook of very accessible recipes. Heidi is a writer, photographer, and award-winning culinary blogger, and she’s just released her new cookbook, super natural every day which follows Cook 1.0 and Super Natural Cooking. Heidi’s work has also been featured in Food & Wine, Saveur, Glamour, the Washington Post, Time, Fast Company, Utne Reader, and the Vegetarian Times, as well as on and
You may be wondering why, out of all of the recipes coming from Heidi’s kitchen I’d include this one here. Good question. Simply put, I haven’t asked for permission to post this yet, and forgiveness is always easier to ask for than permission. I’ll ask; don’t worry. The second reason is that a friend called me today to ask how to boil an egg. Well, it just so happens that earlier this week on a flight between Phoenix and Minneapolis, I read the first half of Heidi’s new book and found her instructions for hard-cooked eggs nearly poetic. Really, hard-cooking eggs can almost seem like rocket science to the uninitiated. But Heidi’s narrative here seemed almost like a song. So anyway, I lifted her poetry for hard-cooked eggs right out of her new book — which you should buy. I’ve given you the link. Go buy it. And hard boil some eggs.

Hard-Cooked Eggs

Put the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by ½ inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. The eggs should just barely start rattling against the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly 7 minutes, or a couple of minutes longer if you’re using extra-large eggs. Have a bowl of ice water ready. When the eggs are through cooking, put them in the ice water for about 3 minutes, long enough to stop the cooking. Peel carefully.

From “super natural every day” Heidi Swanson, Ten Speed Press, Copyright 2011

Carrot Cake

Posted in Desserts by Paul Gauche on April 9, 2011
The power of suggestion…

Just this past week I received a card in the mail with a picture of a carrot cake muffin on the front. Nancy Lee and I looked at it and then at each other and then thought, ‘Wow, that would be tasty!” A quick perousal of the repitoire of in-house ingredients revealed that we had everything. Everything but the carrots. Oh well, what’s another trip to Byerly’s?

  • ¾ cups Canola oil
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cups white flour
  • ¼ whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups shredded carrots, grated
  • ¼ cup raisins, optional
  • ¼ cup pecans or walnuts, optional

Ingredients for the Frosting~

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

Method ~

Cream together the oil and the sugars. Add the eggs, salt cinnamon and baking soda. Add the flours until just mixed. Fold in the carrots. Spread in a greased and floured 9×9″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. While baking, whip the cream cheese and butter. Add milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. Frost the carrot cake when it is cooled.

An hour and a half later we were enjoying this magnifiscent delight. Thanks, as always to the Holden Kitchen.

Deli-Style Rye Bread

Posted in Breads by Paul Gauche on February 19, 2011

Makes four 1-pound loaves.

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons granulated yeast (1 ½ packets)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons caraway sees, plus more for sprinkling on the top
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 5 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, salt and caraway seeds. Add the flours a cup at a time and mix using the dough hook until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. The texture should be just sticky.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses, approx 2 hours.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, thought it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded container and use over the next 14 days.

When you are ready to bake the bread, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound grapefruit size piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Elongate the ball into an oval-shaped loaf. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.

Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 for 20 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, paint the top crust with cornstarch wash and then sprinkle with additional caraway seeds. Slash with deep parallel cuts across the loaf, using a serrated bread knife.

Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time.

Cauliflower Mash-Up

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on February 18, 2011

Ingredients ~

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or light cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt
  • Chopped chives or green onions for garnish

Method ~

Steam the cauliflower in or over boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. Purée the cauliflower using a stick blender or place the cauliflower in a traditional blender along with ½ cup chicken broth until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a medium cooking pan. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch with the remaining ¼ cup broth and add to the purée. Add cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the puree begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives or green onions.

 ~ Serves 4

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