Saturday, October 09, 2010

Squash Ribbons with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

1 1/2 pounds small zucchini
1 1/2 pounds small yellow squash
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh mint
1/4 cup julienned fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add zucchini and squash, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain. Set aside to cool.

When the squash are cool enough to handle, slice them very thin lengthwise, using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Transfer the squash ribbons to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

When the squash has cooled completely, add the vinaigrette and herbs. Toss gently. Crumble the goat cheese over the top, and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

I think "pasta" style shredded zucchini would be a better texture. Couldn't get the strips thin enough.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tres Leches

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Three-Milk Topping:
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2/3 of a (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream (room temp or slightly warm)

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using a glass pan, use 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch metal square pan or 9 inch glass pan (My pan was ugly, so I just lined the whole thing in Release Foil).

Sift flour with baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites until fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating to form stiff peaks. Add yolks, one at a time. Fold in flour mixture and milk; mix well but don’t beat. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until edges are golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool on a rack.

Prepare Three-Milk Topping by combining all 4 ingredients. Using a skewer, make little holes all over the cake. Pour Topping over cake and let sit until all mixture is absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. After it has sat for 30 or so minutes at room temperature, go ahead and refrigerate it.

Prepare Whipped Cream Topping Chill cream, bowl and beaters thoroughly. Beat cream with electric mixer until it begins to thicken. Gradually add sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Cover cake with whipped cream with a spatula or knife. Chill until ready to eat (tastes best the next day).

Topping, cut cake into squares and serve, or spread Whipped Cream Topping over squares of cake.

Cut cake and serve. Or cut the cake in squares and top with whipped cream when it is served.

*When doubled this recipe fits well into a 9x13 pan.
** Would add some almond extract to cake next time.

About 9 servings
Cookie Madness

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vietnamese Lime Leaf Chicken

2 Tbs of Kafir lime leaves in water (fresh would work too)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

6 tbs Fresh lime juice
3 tbs Asian fish sauce (preferably nuoc mam)
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Warm water
1 Garlic clove forced through press

2 breasts of chicken, sliced thinly
1/2 lb rice vermicelli noodles
handful of fresh basil leaves
handful of fresh mint leaves

Marinate chicken for 30-60 minutes.

Fry chicken until sauce evaporates and chicken begins to caramelize on the outside. Cook rice noodles and place on plate, drizzling with prepared sauce. Dress with torn mint and basil leaves. I'm too tired to write this properly.

(kinda) Cinnamon Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 3 inch cinnamon sticks, broken up(should be 10 sticks)
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks

Warm the milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Once warm, cover and let steep for 1 hr at room temperature.

Rewarm the cinnamon mixture. Remove cinnamon slivers with a mesh strainer and discard. Pour the remaining cup of heavy cream into a medium sized bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Use some warm milk to temper the eggs then proceed in making a custard. Once it coats the back of a spoon, pout into the remaining cup of cream using a strainer to catch any bits of scrambled egg. Stir over an ice bath until cool.

Freeze and mix in oatmeal cookie chunks.

**I think this is a bit too sweet and will make sweet cream ice cream for the cookie bits next time.

Great Oatmeal Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted room temperature butter (I keep mine cold so that the cookies hold their shape better)
2 cups tightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
5 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups dark raisins (I replaced this with 1 1/4 cups each shredded coconuts and chopped walnuts)

**I made half and had 59 cookies (after eating some dough)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth and light in texture, 2 minutes. (If your butter is cold like mine, this will take a bit longer) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients, oats and raisins until just combined. (This would not have fit into my stand mixer) Scrape the bowl as needed to blend evenly. Chill the dough for 10 minutes.

The recipe called for the dough to then be rolled into logs for cutting. I prefer the free form of scooping the dough and dropping onto the cookie sheet, using a small ice cream scoop. In batches, bake until the cookies are cracked on top but slightly moist, rotating the pans (half way through baking) as necessary to bake evenly, 14-15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

I am using these as a mix in for cinnamon ice cream.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Amazing Sweet Potatoes

5 sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Wild Mushroom Spaghetti

9 to 11 ounces (250 to 300 grams) wild mixed mushrooms (I would probably buy around 14 ounces (400 grams) mushrooms, as you have to trim a bit off)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 to 2 small dried red chiles, pounded or very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 pound (455 grams) dried spaghetti
A small handful grated Parmesan
1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 ounces (55 grams) unsalted butter

Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms with a pastry brush or a tea towel. Slice the mushrooms thinly, but tear any larger mushrooms, like girolles, chanterelles. and blewits in half. Put the olive oil in a very hot frying pan, and add the mushrooms. Let them fry fast, tossing once or twice, then add the garlic and chile with a pinch of salt (it is very important to season mushrooms slightly, as it really brings out the flavor). Continue to fry fast for 4 to 5 minutes, tossing regularly. Then turn the heat off and squeeze in the lemon juice. Toss and season, to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the mushrooms, with the Parmesan, parsley, and butter. Toss gently, coating the pasta with the mushrooms and their flavor. Serve, scraping out all of the last bits of mushroom from the pan, and sprinkle with a little extra parsley and Parmesan.

Jamie Oliver

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rex's Fish Cakes

1 large fillet fish (we used cod)
1 large pre-cooked potato
3 Tbs mayo
1 egg
1 Tbs fresh herbs
Bread crumbs(from 2 slices of bread)
2 tbs Veggie oil

Boil fish for approximately 10 minutes. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes or until you can handle the fish comfortably. Remove bones and skin from fish while flaking into a large mixing bowl.

Roughly smash the potatoes (if they aren't already) and mix into flaked fish. Add mayonnaise and egg and mix to combine. Incorporate the herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper into fish mixture.

Form into about 4-5 patties and dredge in bread crumbs. Heat oil in pan to a medium heat. Place fish patties in oil and brown on both sides. All ingredients are previously cooked, so you don't need to worry about cooking through, just browning.

* This is something Rex made up as he went along, so remember measurements weren't taken and these are only guesses. Adjust accordingly

** We used dill, thyme, and marjoram. Would like to use more dill next time but we both love it. We only used both marjoram and thyme cuz we can't tell the plants apart.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

White Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound diced, cooked chicken meat
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth (we end up using more)
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 diced green chile
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can white beans**
Handful of frozen corn
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 lime, sliced
1 Avocado
Sour Cream
Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla Chips

Heat oil, and cook onion and garlic until soft.

Stir in broth, tomatoes, chilies, and spices. Bring to a boil add chicken and beans then simmer for 1 hour for dry beans or 10 minutes for canned minutes.
Add corn; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with these toppings for people to choose from: limes, cilantro, cheese, avocado, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

** Out of necessity we have to use dry beans and soak overnight. This means we need to simmer the chili for an hour. If using canned it only needs about 10 minutes.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Salted Caramel - Alton Brown

14 1/2 ounces sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons soy sauce
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, and cream of tartar in a heavy 4-quart saucepan and put over high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the heavy cream and soy sauce in a liquid measuring cup. Have this and the butter standing by.

Remove the lid from the sugar mixture, and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. When the sugar mixture reaches 230 degrees F, reduce the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until the syrup is a golden color and is approaching 300 degrees F, about 6 to 7 minutes. At this point, there is less likelihood of any crystallization, so gently swirl the pan to break up any hot pockets.

When the temperature approaches 350 degrees F, it will turn deep amber. Remove the pan from the heat, and gently swirl again to break up all of the hot pockets. Cool for 2 minutes.

Carefully incorporate the cream, soy mixture, butter and vanilla into the pan. Stir to combine. Return the caramel to medium heat, stir until the butter is completely melted, and continue cooking until it reaches 255 degrees F. Remove from the heat and pour into the parchment-lined pan, tap gently to release air bubbles.

Cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, and then sprinkle evenly with the salt. Continue cooling on the rack for an additional 3 1/2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces and wrap individually in parchment. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

** Rex may have omitted the Soy Sauce. These are like crack, can't stop!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jam Roly Poly

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
Pinch of salt
75g/3 oz shredded suet or vegetable shortening
Zest of one lemon
6 tbs jam (raspberry was great)
Cold water

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment.

Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl. Stir in suet and lemon zest. Mix with cold water, a little at a time, until you can gather the mixture into a soft ball with your fingers. Knead on a lightly floured board until smooth and pliable.

Gently roll pastry into a rectangle that is approx 8 x 12 inches. Spread jam evenly over the pastry, leaving 3/4 in boundary.

Brush the pastry edges with a little water and roll up the pastry. Take care not to squeeze out the jam. Place roll, seam side down, on the baking sheet. Cook for 30-40 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through. Leave roll to cool for a few minutes. Cut into thick slices and server with cream, custard, ice cream or whipped cream.


Best Tortilla Soup

8 cups chicken broth/stock
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chipotle chiles in adobo seasoning
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste(omitted)

2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat
Bag of tortilla chips(thick cut)

6-8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (we used mild cheddar and it was fine)
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
Sour Cream

Place the broth, garlic, cilantro, onion, tomatoes, chiles with adobo and salt in a large pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the chicken and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.

Place a handful of fried tortilla strips in the bottom of your serving bowls. Ladle some soup over the tortilla strips and top with a little cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a few slices of avocado. Serves 6-10.

** we cut this recipe in half and it would have served 3 maximum. It was the BEST we have ever made.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic (8-12 cloves)
1/2 cup grated ginger

~3.5 lbs of bone-in skin-on chicken(2 chickens)

1 Tbs corn starch

Cook honey, soy, garlic, and ginger in small sauce pan until honey has melted. Place chicken in Pyrex baking pan (9x13), skin side down and pour on sauce. Cover with foil and marinate overnight in the refrigerator (3 hrs is fine).

Preheat oven to 350.

Bake chicken for 30 min with the foil still on. Uncover the pan and turn chicken skin side up and raise the temp to 375. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove chicken to serving plate and bring pan juices (there will be a lot) to a boil in a small sauce pan. Create a slurry with corn stark and let marinade thicken into a glaze. Pour over chicken or serve as a gravy.

This was excellent with stir fried veggies and coconut rice.

Ina Garten

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Szechuan Green Beans

1 lb fresh green beans
vegetable oil cooking spray or 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon ginger, peeled, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Wash beans, trim ends and remove strings.

Coat a large nonstick skillet (or wok) with cooking spray or peanut oil and heat until hot. Add ginger and garlic and saute 30 secs. Add beans, saute 5 minutes.

Combine 2 tablespoons water and remaining 5 ingredients. Stir well. Add to beans, cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Parsnip Soup

3 large parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
pinch of ground allspice
6 bacon strips, sliced and baked with parsnips
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread out parsnips and chopped bacon in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast parsnips until brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add parsnips and bacon and sauté 5 minutes. Add stock and boil until parsnips are tender, about 5 minutes. Add milk. Remove from heat. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return to saucepan. Stir in allspice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool, then cover and chill.) Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and serve.

Variation of Creamy Parsnip Soup from Epicurious

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Piccata

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Additional all purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using meat pounder or rolling pin, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons flour in small bowl until smooth. Place additional flour in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken into flour to coat; shake off excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets. Add 2 chicken breasts to each skillet and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter; tent with foil to keep warm.

Bring wine, lemon juice and broth to boil in 1 skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in capers, parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.