Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake

Combine in a mixing bowl:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, melt:
2 sticks butter
Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa. Stir together.
Add 1 cup boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup buttermilk.
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan (9x13 glass baking dish) and bake at 350-degrees for 20 (35 minutes, then start checking, mine took a lot longer than the original 20 minutes I had planned on).

While cake is baking, make icing:
Chop 1/2 cup pecans finely. (I left these out)
Melt 1 3/4 sticks butter in a saucepan.
Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat.
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb minus 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Stir together.
Add pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Moroccan Braised Beef

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon garam masala*
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup dry Sherry
2 cups beef broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups golden raisins

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Add meat to pot; sauté until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same pot. Add onions; sauté until brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and next 5 ingredients; stir 1 minute. Add wine and Sherry; boil until reduced to glaze, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and raisins; stir to blend. Add beef and accumulated juices; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until sauce is thick and beef is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Season stew with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly, chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before serving.)

Garam Masala

1 tablespoon coriander; ground
1 tablespoon cumin; ground
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper; ground
1 tablespoon fennel seeds; ground
1 tablespoon ginger; ground
1 tablespoon cardamom; ground
1 tablespoon nutmeg; ground
1 TEASPOON cloves; ground

Serves 6-8

Barefoot Couscous

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup chopped shallots
3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, recipe follows, or canned broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup currants

Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Off the heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Add the pine nuts and currants to the couscous, stir and serve.

Serves 6-8